The first VIP slot room run by junkets, opened at the Jimei casino in Macau over the weekend.
Macau.- The VIP slot room contains 130 machines and was funded by traditional junket investors, one of which is a well-known VIP slot player at an existing Big 6 casino. The sector needed a boost and analysts believe this opening proves the industry is willing to try news ideas in order to recover from the revenue decline. Nevertheless, getting favourable results immediately from the VIP slot rooms is not an easy task.
Grant Govertsen, an analyst from Union Gaming Group stated: “We would caution that slot players are exceptionally fickle and VIP slot players probably even more so. They are very high maintenance from a customer service perspective and are very particular about what games they want to play, denominations, etc.” He also considers the VIP room location to be disadvantageous and regulations regarding swapping out machines and re-configuring slot layouts, tough to overcome.
There is still hope though, and industry experts are keeping a watchful eye on it. Analysts believe the VIP slots room’s main selling point is being run by and like a junket, which could be appealing for slot players. Govertsen expressed that “this dynamic could hold some level of appeal to existing slot players albeit at the expense of lower margins relative to the typical 40% plus EBITDA margin on slots.”