Macau | Industry panel notes “knowledge” is key to conquer South-East Asian markets – MGS Summit

Macau (MNA) – Knowing your customers, your environment, and your employees are some of the basic “key elements” to Integrated Resorts (IR) reaching their goals, a panel of experts said on Thursday at MGS Summit 2017.

The debate, focused on how the technology is changing IRs along the Belt and Road Initiative, analysed the evolution of the industry in South-East Asia and offered some hints on how other players in the sector are facing local challenges.

“We need to understand our customer,”moderator Michael Zhu, SVP of International Operations Planning and Analysis of Innovation Group, said, further suggesting there are currently many tools available to reach that goal.

In such direction, panellist Angel Sueiro, Head of Project Management Team of Gaming and Hospitality of LapuLapu Leisure in the Philippines, stated during the debate that “customers are increasingly more sophisticated,” and the “squeeze-your-customer approach doesn’t work anymore” as nowadays “we are two-clicks away from a bad review.”

However, he remarked that despite all the knowledge about the customers, the thrill of gambling couldn’t be set aside and forgotten.

Tim Shepherd, co-founder of Silver Heritage Group, said regarding the matter that baccarat and black jack have been successful for 200 or 300 years without changing their rules.

Mr. Sueiro also argued that it is essential to know the local business and legal environment for the industry to thrive. The gradually disappearance of taboos related to gaming are also an important part of reaching business goals, according to him. It is necessary to “understand the dynamics of every place,” he noted.

Mr. Shepherd explained to the audience that his company tries to build its own hospitality brand when opening new facilities. According to him, relying in world-class hotel brands shadows the very own property core. A statement with which Mr. Sueiro agreed, stating that this process “is going to take time but is going to give more flexibility.”

The panellists also concurred that knowing staff is also an important part of success, as human resources is a critical element of IRs and considering it is “incredibly hard to bring people and to train them” in South East Asia, Mr. Shepherd said.

[Edited by Sheyla Zandonai]