The days are counting down to the much anticipated grand opening of Melco Crown Entertainment’s (MCE) integrated casino resort Studio City scheduled for Tuesday, October 27, which will feature a performance by singer, songwriter, record producer and actress Mariah Carey.
The opening of the $3.2 billion Cotai Strip cinematic-themed resort casino controlled by Lawrence Ho Yau Lung and James Packer, is the culmination of a 14 month period of extreme highs and lows experienced by the region’s casino market.
The last few weeks of waiting have been fueled by a steady stream of events surrounding Studio City’s opening. Earlier this week the Secretary for Economy and Finance, Lionel Leong Vai Tac, announced that in addition to 1,233 gaming machines, the Macau government had granted it a total of 250 gaming tables; 200 designated for its launch on Tuesday, and the remaining 50 to be in operation by January 2016. At the same time Galaxy Entertainment was granted 100 new tables for their Galaxy Macau Resort.
That news came just days after the unveiling of the Studio City Events Center which was attended by 8,500 employees and officiated by Lawrence Ho and MCE’s co-chairman Ted Chan. The unveiling came on the heels of the revelation that MCE was changing their market strategy to adapt to the major slump in Macau’s gambling market. The company made the decision to downgrade the resort casino’s hotel from a five star one to a four star property. The change was implemented by MCE to attract more tourists by promoting Studio City as more of a family-friendly vacation destination.
Studio City Macau, Asia’s first leisure resort to integrate film and television production facilities, gaming, retail, and hotels, is situated in the heart of Cotai. It is adjacent to the Lotus Bridge and directly connected to the light rail system, Macau Light Rapid Transit (Macau LRT), which is currently under construction. The Macau LRT serves major border checkpoints such as the Lotus Bridge Border and the Macau International Airport, allowing easier access to visitors of Studio City making it that much more of an asset to the region and MCE.