Jimei Casino Confident That Junkets Can Swing Player Preference
The VIP slot club which was recently opened in Macau’s Jimei Casino is a risky attempt by the casino to revive its dwindling VIP gambling revenue.
The Grand Prize VIP Club has provision to run 150 slot machines but is currently partnering with slot machine manufacturer Aristocrat to offer its clientele a total of 111 VIP slot machines.
While recent reports indicate that the new VIP slot club has not been performing very well, its operator Zhang Zheng has said that the market has reacted positively to the concept and while business was slow during the first couple of months, Zheng expects the club to generate more revenue before the end of the year.
Zhang has expressed confidence that the model can succeed in Macau, saying that there is potential for VIP slot gross revenues to go up to HK$125 billion per year. His estimate is based on the fact that Macau currently sees only five percent revenues from slot machines whereas the slot revenue in Western markets is as much as 50 to 60 percent. If VIP slots are marketed and promoted in the right way in Macau, Zheng believes that the VIP segment can be revived once again.
The slot room operator believes that junkets played a decisive role in popularizing baccarat with VIP Chinese gamblers and says a similar strategy can be used to bring high end gamblers to play the slot machines.
In a statement, Zhang Zheng said,
Junkets know that when taking their clients to baccarat VIP clubs they will have a share of the commission so they will convince their clients to play baccarat even when the client prefers slots. Now that we have VIP slot parlours and the junket model, junkets can share the profit either way. The preference for a certain game is dominated by junkets, not necessarily by the customer
He added that such a strategy can be utilized for popularizing other games as well and help diversify the gaming market in Macau. According to Zhang, the biggest attraction of slot machines for players is that they can win large sums by betting relatively small amounts of money. It is also faster as a bet is played with just a push of a button whereas the game of baccarat does take a long amount of time.
Zhang stated that he is currently in discussions with other gaming operators who have expressed interest in opening VIP parlors. He expects to open at least three more VIP slot parlors in Macau this year.
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