Hong Kong-listed, Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd. (MLCO:NASDAQ GS), has reportedly announced via invitation that on Tuesday a new eSports facility, “Macau Estadium,” will open at its Studio City Macau property.
According to GGRAsia…
The developer, owner and operator of casino gaming and entertainment casino resort facilities in Asia is the promoter of the new venue, which is being introduced as “the first of its kind” in the Chinese special administrative region.
The invitation reportedly stated…
“The Macau Estadium is a cutting-edge e-Sports multifunctional development.” Additionally, its aim is “to build a gateway and a strong foundation for the e-sports development in Macau.”
League of Legends Master Series:
In April, the Asian casino giant and consumer Internet platform provider, Garena, partnered to host the “2018 League of Legends Master Series (LMS) Spring Final” hosted at Studio City. A news release issued by Melco the day after LMS, communicated that what was a first for Macau, was one of the enclave’s largest eSports events enjoyed by a live audience of 2,000.
Property President for Studio City Macau at Melco Resorts & Entertainment, Geoff Andres, said…
“We are always looking for fresh ideas to diversify the entertainment experience offered to our guests. In recent years, we have kept a close track of the increasing demand in Asia for new and unique tech-based entertainment, where eSports is now a fast-growing and major segment. We are excited by this partnership with Garena to bring the Legends Master Series Spring Final to Macau for the first time, where the event has raised the bar for destination sporting events in Cotai. In the mid-term, we look forward to further introducing highly innovative entertainment events to our customers in Macau as well as to tourists from around the region.”
The news release at the time went on to state that China accounts for more than half of the world’s eSports audience, with most being 30 years of age or under. An audience group which has not been represented greatly in the enclave’s tourism demographics.
Other operators showing interest:
GGRAsia further reports that rival Macau casino operators, Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd (SEHK: 00027) and SJM Holdings Ltd (880:Hong Kong) have also either hosted or sponsored eSports events in the former Portuguese colony. Ambrose So Shu Fai, Chief Executive for SJM Holdings has reportedly stated that eSports is “an emerging industry with huge growth potential and global viewership.”
The news agency cites some industry commentators as communicating that casino operators are eager to attract the next generation of consumers to their venues. They look to eSports as a possible means to get them there.
Japan integrated resorts:
Nisaka Yoshinobu, the governor of Wakayama, one of the several prefectures in Japan eyeing one of three integrated resort licenses to be issued in phase one of casino legalization in the Asian nation, has reportedly included eSports events in his city’s plan for a casino resort.