Part 1 – Episode 2 “Whirl Pool”

Posted: March 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

20th Mar 2011

UNTOLD INSIDER STORY OF AN AMERICAN CASINO OPERATOR IN MACAU !

This is the Episode 2 of Whirl Pool – Transformation of Macau Casinos by our guest writer Alan Kaplan. 

Part 1 – Episode 2: The ‘China Development Team’ in SilverStone

While James Wu starts to get used to the culture and society of Macau after a few months living and working in the tiny (26 sq.km) special administrative region, he is faced with new challenges soon after he ‘dives’ into the project.

The Macau project team (or the property opening-team) of SilverStone Las Vegas consists of casino operation group from Las Vegas and Australia, hotel operation group from Australia, marketing team set up by James Wu and construction group headed by a British project engineer. The dynamic and chemistry among the groups are at best, superficial and polite in the initial stage of the project. The fact is, each group is highly protective of their own activities and information. Within the SilverStone setup in Macau there is a very unique and small team of people headed by a Canadian Chinese (his name, Albert Kang) who is an engineer by profession.

This small team is termed ‘China Development’ and primarily taking on liaison activities with the Chinese government officials in mainland China. James Wu is particularly interested in knowing about what exactly the China Development team is doing. So one day he approaches the head of the team, Albert. It was a raining day with heavy rain-drops hitting the window glass while James and Albert were chatting away.

James: “What’s all about the China development aiming at?”

Albert: “Oh, we are establishing the liaison with Henqin (a sub-district of Zhuhai City adjacent to Macau) local government, to develop a plan for a golf resort cum entertainment hub there.”

James: “Are you sure that Chinese government will allow a part of mainland territories to be developed by casino operator?”

Albert: “Oh yes, so long as we take things one step at a time. First, there will be no casino stuff over that (Henqin) island but in time to come, more options could be opened.”

James observes that on Albert’s table a bound thick cover large book. So he asks, “What’s this book, it has an impressive cover-page”.

Albert: “Oh that’s the submitted development plan proposal for Henqin island.”

James: “Can I take a look?”

Albert: “It’s ok, go ahead. We have just passed it on to the local government officials.”

James is turning pages after pages of the book, continues to ask questions, “So how’s their response? So far.”

Albert: “Oh it’s very positive. They told us that the proposal would be approved fast.”

James asks the final question: “Who’s the key executive to drive this? I mean, from Las Vegas (SilverStone casino).”

Albert: “Let me tell you, this is a big deal. We will grow this China Pie so much larger than any of the casino competitors. It’s really big. By the way, Mr. Keyman is personally driving this project for the group.”

Mr. Keyman is the president & chief operating officer of Las Vegas SilverStone Group, in de facto the 2nd most powerful person after the owner of the company. He flies into Macau from Vegas once every two weeks or so to oversee the progress of this China development project – The Henqin development proposal. More insider stories will come about from this project in the later parts/episodes.

(To be continued… )

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