MGM China eyes major investment in Thailand’s emerging casino and entertainment complex

Industry

MGM China is exploring investment opportunities in Thailand’s proposed entertainment complex, a move that aligns with Macau’s gaming operators’ strategy to enter the growing Thai tourism market.

The development was disclosed by Thapanee Kiatphaibool, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), following a meeting with Pansy Ho, chairperson and executive director of MGM China Holdings, Bangkok Post reported.

Thapanee highlighted that investment from a global company like MGM China would stimulate international markets in Thailand, particularly attracting travelers from China, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. Thailand is currently drafting legislation to regulate entertainment complexes, including legal casinos.

The TAT plans to discuss potential collaboration with MGM to enhance Thailand’s competitiveness through new tourism-related products, including man-made attractions, to be promoted year-round. The Thai tourism sector needs to secure 2.4 trillion baht (approximately $65 billion) in the last seven months of this year to meet its target of 3.5 trillion ($95 billion), having generated 1.1 trillion ($30 billion) in the first five months, according to the Tourism and Sports Ministry.

Iwan Dietschi, senior vice-president of hospitality at MGM China, noted that the Thai market is a top priority, representing the company’s largest group of visitors from Southeast Asia and the fastest-growing market, as per the report. Thai customers at MGM hotels increased by 30% year-on-year in 2024. MGM China has established a sales representative in Thailand to expand this market further.

Macau’s hotels have seen a rebound, largely due to visitors from Southeast Asia and China, who remain a major source market despite the economic slowdown. MGM China participated in the “Experience Macao Roadshow in Bangkok,” organized by the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), to strengthen the Thai outbound market.

The MGTO reported that visitors from Thailand were the fifth-largest group of arrivals in Macau during the first five months of 2024.

Galaxy Entertainment Group (GEG), headquartered in Macau, also participated in the roadshow to attract high-spending Thai tourists. GEG operates nine luxury hotels with 5,500 rooms. Samantha Lyu, senior manager for media services at GEG, stated that Macau’s tourism market has gradually improved, primarily driven by Chinese tourists, the report said. The Individual Visit Scheme now includes an additional 10 cities in mainland China. 

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