The glitzy opening of a new Hollywood-themed Macau casino masks turmoil behind …

27 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

James Packer confirms delay to Sydney Barangaroo casino project.

Star power: Melco Crown Entertainment’s co-chairman and chief executive Lawrence Ho and co-chairman James Packer pose with Hollywood elite Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese and producer Brett Ratner. Australian billionaire James Packer has thanked his mates “Bob, Leo and Marty” for the $US70 million “short film” The Audition, which promotes his new $US3.3 billion Macau casino, which opens tonight.Hedge funds are looking to short Macau stocks after a sharp rally from the bottom, while long-only investors are cautious because they don’t want to be caught in the storm, concluded Credit Suisse after meeting with 80 clients during a marketing trip.Mr Packer, speaking at the opening of his new $US3.2 billion Studio City casino resort in Macau, said across his vast business portfolio the Sydney Barangaroo project topped his list.

MACAU, Oct. 26, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — A constellation of celebrity ‘star chefs’ today served up a taste of the unique culinary experiences to be enjoyed at Studio City as they unveiled details of their signature restaurants, set to establish Asia’s Entertainment Capital as the ‘must-go’ gourmet dining destination in Macau. Marketed as the most diverse entertainment offering in the Asian gambling Mecca, the $4.5 billion 1600-room complex, houses a magic show theatre, figure-eight ferris wheel and Batman ride.

Late last year a payment disagreement between Mr Packer’s casino partner Lend Lease and the New South Wales government looked set to delay the development. Studio City’s roster of internationally acclaimed chefs, including multi Michelin-starred Chef Alain Ducasse; world-leading Chef Pâtissier Pierre Hermé; renowned master of Hawaii Regional Cuisine, the critically acclaimed Chef Alan Wong; ‘Global Chef Award’ winner, Chef Hidemasa Yamamoto; and World Champion of Chinese Cooking Gold Medalist Chef Tam Kwok Fung, will be joined by French Michelin-starred Chef Guillaume Galliot, executive chef of The Tasting Room at City of Dreams Macau, in preparing a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ dining experience for the Studio City Grand Opening Gala Dinner to be held on October 27. Mr Packer said his father sowed the seeds for Crown’s push into Macau, the world’s largest gambling hub, in 2004 as China looked to open up its only legal gambling jurisdiction to international competition. But following last week’s announcement of Crown’s new 90-story tower on Southbank, Packer today told media the construction of the Barangaroo casino was his priority. “In my business life there is nothing more important than Crown Sydney. In light of the volatile market, uncertain fundamentals (supportive government policy but still mixed data point), and especially after the share price rebound, investors want to see more data points and how Macau Studio City opens before increasing their weighting.

Since gaining a casino concession in 2006, Mr Packer and Mr Ho have built two Macau casinos and on Tuesday opened their third: the $4 billion Hollywood-themed Studio City complex. They are all set to walk the red carpet for the gala opening event, which will include a four-song performance from Mr Packer’s girlfriend Mariah Carey.

It’s going to be the most expensive building ever built per square foot and we want to make it very special,” Packer said. “I think (NSW Premier) Mike Baird is doing a good job, and I caught up with him last week but it wont be open until the end of 2020 at least,” he said. “Nothing is a certainty, but if you build something and you try and make it the best, and you really do try and make it the best, and when it goes over budget you say okay we’ll let it go over budget because we have to, to make it the best, you get nervous,” he said. Talking about data points, for the week ended October 25, Macau gaming average daily revenue came in at 586 million Macau pacata, rebounding strong from the previous week’s 486 million. Studio City, which will have 1640 hotel rooms and the ability to support up to 500 gaming tables and 1500 electronic gaming machines, is targeted at the premium mass market, looking to cash in on the rise of Chinese tourists travelling abroad. The star chefs are bringing singularly unique culinary delights to Studio City and Macau, catering to the most discerning of epicureans with an eclectic array of fine cuisine, so guests can truly ‘dine like a star’.

The Audition, set at Packer’s resorts in Manila and Macau, was described by director Brett Rattner as a fusion of short film and branding, and was the future of advertising. “Let’s assume that we can run the ads for three years, it’s 11 million bucks a year for what will be I think the most famous marketing campaign in the world.” Melco Crown, in which Mr Packer’s Crown Resorts has a 34 per cent stake, is confident its new casino, with its theme-park like attractions, can weather the revenue slump in Macau. While Mr Packer wouldn’t comment on the rumoured $US70m cost of the short film, he said Crown Resorts and Melco Crown Entertainment had each paid half. And there are not that many.” Mr Packer also revealed Melco Crown has yet to recoup its sunk investments in Macau by instead pouring profits back into new casinos which he said is at odds with the other five concessions operating in Macau.

He added that if that figure was correct and the film was used over three years, that would equate to around an annual $11m spend for the company, which he hinted was good value. Mr Packer confirmed its Barangaroo casino on Sydney’s harbour would not open until late 2020 and said he was concerned it was falling behind in the development schedule. “It is important that we now get started on it,” he said. “Since we announced Sydney we have announced Las Vegas and Melbourne. Macau currently trades at an average of 13 times. “Ff everyone is waiting for below 10x to buy, it may not come,” lament the Credit Suisse analysts, who are bullish on Macau. Studio City’s signature Chinese restaurant, ‘Pearl Dragon’ offers a menu showcasing refined provincial Chinese flavors, innovative culinary creations and the finest delicacies to tempt the palate. “Pearl Dragon showcases exquisite Cantonese specialties blended with an innovative modern menu offering the best in quality natural organic and farm-fresh ingredients from around the world,” explained Chef Tam. “We aim not only to satisfy your appetite, but also to cultivate your health and well-being, with a range of Chinese herbal soups specially prepared by professional Chinese herbal practitioners.” With his restaurants awarded a combined total of 19 Michelin stars, Chef Alain Ducasse is one of the world’s most celebrated chefs. Wynn Macau (1128.Hong Kong), a subsidiary of WYNN Resorts (WYNN). fell 3.8%, Galaxy Entertainment (27.Hong Kong) dropped 3.3%, MGM China (2282.Hong Kong), a unit of MGM Resorts (MGM) fell 2.9% and Sands China (1928.Hong Kong), a unit of Las Vegas Sands (LVS), was down 2.1%.

Studio City is located on Cotai, Macau, close to the Lotus Bridge immigration point which connects with Hengqin Island and a future station-point for the Macau Light Rapid Transit. For further information on Studio City, please visit:, follow us on Sina Weibo at, and like us on Facebook at Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), in its annual report to shareholders, in press releases and other written materials and in oral statements made by its officers, directors or employees to third parties. Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties, and a number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement. These factors include, but are not limited to, (i) growth of the gaming market and visitation in Macau and the Philippines, (ii) capital and credit market volatility, (iii) local and global economic conditions, (iv) our anticipated growth strategies, and (v) our future business development, results of operations and financial condition.

In some cases, forward-looking statements can be identified by words or phrases such as “may”, “will”, “expect”, “anticipate”, “target”, “aim”, “estimate”, “intend”, “plan”, “believe”, “potential”, “continue”, “is/are likely to” or other similar expressions. All information provided in this press release is as of the date of this press release, and the Company undertakes no duty to update such information, except as required under applicable law. The Company is also developing the planned Studio City (, a cinematically-themed integrated entertainment, retail and gaming resort in Cotai, Macau.

Studio City, when it opens on October 27th, is set to take Macau’s entertainment destination proposition to unprecedented new levels, by providing a ‘next generation’ of outstanding entertainment-driven leisure destination experiences that will help the territory’s evolution into a truly international tourism center. Studio City’s stunning Art Deco facade includes the “Golden Reel”, the highest figure-8 Ferris wheel in Asia which straddles the resort’s two-tower hotel at a height of some 130 meters. The resort’s innovative entertainment offerings include “Studio City Event Center”, a 5,000-seat multi-purpose entertainment center designed to host live concerts, theatrical and sporting events; and “Studio 8”, a 300-seat live-audience TV broadcast studio for reality and game-show productions distributed in the Asia region.

Fun Zone” for kids filled with Warner Bros.’ and DC Comics’ franchise characters and play-rides, together with “Pacha Macau” which will bring Ibiza-style nightlife to Macau. For media enquiry, please contact: Maggie Ma Head of Corporate Communications Tel: +853 8868 3767 or +852 3151 3767 Email: For investment community, please contact: Ross Dunwoody Vice President, Investor Relations Tel: +853 8868 7575 or +852 2598 3689 Email:

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