Jimei Casino located within the Grand Lapa is one of the smaller casinos in Macau and recently decided to experiment with the concept of launching a VIP Slot room targeting high rollers from Mainland China. Considering the fact that VIP gamblers from China have always preferred playing baccarat, the VIP slots room was a bold concept that had a very slim chance of success.
Now close to two months after opening, the VIP slot room has had very little success and looks to have caused its first major casualty as Jimei’s chief executive officer Wong Kwok Leung ‘Kennis’ has put in his resignation and stepped down from 22nd February. Kennis also decided to give up his seat on the Jimei’s board but will continue as a director for some of Jimei’s unnamed subsidiaries.
Jimei casino stated that Kennis decided to resign to pursue other business ventures and will not be hiring an interim CEO as its current management will cope with the additional responsibilities. The casino made this announcement during a filing with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and stated that it has started its search to find a replacement for Kennis.
The VIP Slot room operator Zhang Zheng appears unfazed of the resignation or the sluggish performance of the slot room and remains confident that Jimei’s VIP slot room will pick up the pace as more junket operators signup. Jimei’s casino is operating a similar junket commission model as the usual baccarat games, but according to Zheng, the commissions are higher than what baccarat games pay.
Zheng stated that one of the main reasons for the popularity of baccarat was due to the fact that junket operators influenced VIP gamblers to head towards the baccarat tables because that’s where the junkets made the most commission. The popularity of a particular game in Macau had a lot to do with the influence of these junket operators and this is why Zheng believes that Jimei’s VIP slot room will see a rise in VIP gamblers as junket operators realize they can make high commissions via the VIP slot model.
According to the Macau Business Daily, Zheng said “The biggest charm of slot machines for the customer lies in that they can use a little money to win a big prize. For example, on the HK$10 minimum betting machines, you can place the highest of HK$8,800 for one bet, but the biggest reward can be as high as HK$8 million. They can press the button to put down a bet every few seconds on a slot machine, while a run of game of baccarat may take some time.”
Zheng also remains positive that Jimei’s VIP slot room will soon be able to lure gamblers from western countries who have shown a preference to play slot machines and believes that Macau’s slot machine market could soon grow up to HK$125 billion in a year.