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The M word

Developing entertainment and gaming for millennials and a more tech savvy crowd will be the greatest challenges for gaming operators and electronic game developers in the future

Gaming operators and electronic gaming manufacturers should not ignore the millennial and tech savvy crowd, by developing gaming and entertainment that caters to their specific needs, sector authorities said yesterday at G2E Asia.
“I believe millennials are a group we should give great attention to. It’s a group connected to the emerging younger, more wealthy middle class in China, who wants to travel with their family,” the President of Sands China Ltd, Wilfred Wong, stated in the panel discussion entitled ‘Content and Amenities for the Mass Market’.
The roundtable also included the Chief Operating Officer of Gaming at MGM China Holdings, Ltd., John Shigley, and three representatives from the electronic gaming industry.
According to Mr. Wong, as millennials now start to constitute families that travel together and have other interests besides gaming it becomes imperative for integrated resorts to offer a whole-family experience.
“More and more we’re seeing families with parents in their thirties coming. We need to provide more services for them such as childcare, playroom, or theme park-type attractions,” the Sands China President stated.
For the CEO of gaming for MGM China the sector should attempt to study types of gaming that would be more attractive to millennials, adding that operators would be “remiss” to ignore areas like e-sports, skill-based gaming, peer-to-peer gaming and how to incorporate it in their properties.
“The explosion of e-sports has just been mind boggling. The numbers are just huge and we have to develop, in conjunction with the manufacturers, the facilities for some of those games,” said Mr. Shigley.
The CEO cited the example of the U.S. state of New Jersey approving skill-based gaming machines to be installed in Atlantic City properties last year.
“The average age of the players attracted to the machines is higher than you would expect and the appeal is just huge,” he added.

Age all but a number
For the Chief Executive Officer of electronic game developer company IGT International, Walter Bugno, the main issue is not so much demographics as new technology trends.
“Technology is operating a change in how people engage. The concept of socialising through games versus playing by yourself is creating a different model we’re trying to explore. You just need to see the thousands of people that go to e-sport stadiums in South Korea to watch other people play games,” Mr. Bugno said.
For the IGT International CEO, more important than targeting a specific age group is to create entertainment experiences that can attract gamers from all age groups.
This opinion was shared by Mitchell Bowen, Managing Director for Australia, New Zealand and International of Aristocrat Technologies, who considered that rather than focusing on “age or gender” the main focus should be on the content provided.
“Gaming operators have the bricks and mortar locations where gamers already go, we just need to provide them with as many different experiences as possible across the floor despite their age,” Mr. Bowen said.


No more ferries,
no more honey
The opening of the new Pac On Ferry Terminal is not likely to have an immediate impact upon Cotai visitation but will likely have a long term impact as the number of routes is upgraded, Sands China Ltd. President Wilfred Wong told Business Daily.
“Since the number of operators and routes in the new terminal will remain the same for the time being, probably there won’t be any immediate upsurge in the number of passengers using the terminal. However, with more improved facilities and more Cotai casino openings the number of routes will increase,” Mr. Wong concluded.
The new Pac On Ferry Terminal opening ceremony is to take place today, after 12 years in development, with a capacity to receive 400,000 people per day whilst maintaining the same companies – Turbo Jet, Cotai Water Jet and Yuet Tung – which operated ferries in the previous temporary terminal.


No talk of Legionnaires
When requested to comment upon the progress of the handling of the Legionnaires bacteria outbreak at The Parisian Macao, Mr. Wong was not allowed to comment on the issue by his media relations team.
A recent investigation of the property by the Health Bureau revealed that of 78 water samples collected from The Parisian Macao water taps from hotel rooms, the washroom in the lobby, and shower room at the pool, ten contained levels of Legionnaires bacteria that exceeded safe limits.

OPINION

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