Macau casino company eyes Thailand for major investment

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

In a move that could revolutionise Thailand’s entertainment landscape, MGM China Holdings is exploring new investment opportunities, including a potential entertainment complex in Thailand. This was revealed after a high-level meeting between TAT governor Thapanee Kiatphaibool and Pansy Ho, chairperson of MGM China Holdings, on Thursday.

TAT governor Thapanee highlighted that MGM China is keen to promote Macau tourism to Thai travellers while also eyeing investments in Thailand’s emerging entertainment sector.

“Investment from a global giant like MGM would significantly boost Thailand’s appeal to international markets, particularly attracting tourists from China, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East.”

Thailand is currently drafting new laws and regulations to accommodate entertainment complexes, including legal casinos. Thapanee mentioned that the TAT plans to discuss potential collaborations with MGM to enhance Thailand’s tourism competitiveness through innovative attractions and year-round activities.

The Thai tourism sector faces the daunting task of generating 2.4 trillion baht in the next seven months to hit its annual target of 3.5 trillion, having amassed only 1.1 trillion in the first five months of the year, according to the Tourism and Sports Ministry.

Iwan Dietschi, MGM China’s senior vice-president of hospitality, confirmed Thailand’s significance to MGM.

“Thailand is a top priority market for us, representing the largest group of visitors from Southeast Asia and the fastest growing market.”

Dietschi noted a 30% year-on-year increase in Thai visitors to MGM hotels in 2024. MGM has even established a sales representative in Thailand to further expand this market.

MGM China is participating in the Experience Macao Roadshow in Bangkok, organised by the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), which runs until tomorrow at CentralWorld. The event aims to boost Thai outbound tourism to Macau.

According to MGTO, Thai tourists were the fifth-largest group of visitors to Macau in the first five months of 2024. Galaxy Entertainment Group (GEG), another major player in Macau, also attended the roadshow, promoting its nine luxury hotels to high-spending Thai tourists.

Samantha Lyu, GEG’s senior manager for media services, noted a significant recovery in Macau’s tourism, driven by Chinese tourists. GEG reported a 50% year-on-year revenue growth in the first quarter, with China as the largest market. Lyu also revealed plans to open a new office in Bangkok to attract more Thai visitors to Macau, reported Bangkok Post.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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