Whirl Pool – Episode 4: A Great Opening That Changed Macau Forever

Posted: April 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

Editor:  We are glad to have received the latest Episode 4 of Whirl Pool story within a very short lag time after Episode 3 was posted on our blog. We appreciate Mr. Kaplan for working his gear double hard to produce such an exciting story on Macau. Readers would be happy too.

“Whirl Pool” – Transformation of Macau

Episode 4 – The Great Opening That Changed Macau Forever

Story by: Alan Kaplan

20 April 2011

 Finally, after great preparation and tremendous effort by the SilverStone project team, the first American international casino opened in Asia – Macau special administrative region, China. The historical event was on 18 May 2004.

The whole event of SilverStone Casino opening was a big bang in the region of Southern China. More than 35,000 walking bodies trying to crash through SilverStone’s posh entrance. Almost whole of Macau security forces were activated to manage the chaos outside the casino gate.

When the casino entrance was finally opened for its first day of operations, it looked as if a big riot had been unleashed. The long escalator gave way and stalled half way, could not take on the heavy load of crowd pushing through it. The stalled escalator gave a big jerk and what happened next lots of people fell and rolled over bodies behind them, slamming to the bottom floor. Screams were heard all over the big entrance courtyard inside…

Regardless, the opening of SilverStone Casino in Macau was a resounding success for the American operator. Macau chief executive proudly declared the initiative of opening up the special administrative region for casinos a sound strategy.

On average, the new SilverStone casino brought in 30,000 purposeful casino gamblers daily. Daily averaged revenue of USD10m for the first few years. The property was built at a cost of USD240m and, fully redeemed in 11 months!

With such a success beyond analysts expectation, the phenomenon woke up the leaders in Beijing. Members of the China Social & Science Bureau were sent in to Macau since then, to solicit and understudy the new phenomenon in this small enclave.

It was a big blow to SJM (Lisboa) leadership and the Den’s Old man, seeing that SilverStone Casino stole away such a huge success from under the Brother’s nose. It was leaked that the Old man rounded out his management team after his attendance at the opening ceremony at SilverStone Casino. In that closed door meeting, the Old man literary ‘screwed’ his staff for complacency & lack of prior knowledge about SilverStone’s powerful marketing tactics and strategies. The table was turned against SJM & Lisboa from then on. Within short period of time, SilverStone grabbed the majority market share for mass gaming segment. Lisboa was left dangling on their junket room operators business to survive. It was a real scary situation for the Den’s people.

Under discrete instruction by Beijing, The People’s Republic of China Liaison Office In Macau (PRCLO) stepped up its operations on collection of information on the first American casino (in Macau) and monitoring of who’s who been sent in to work in the territory, especially close tracking of westerners hired by SilverStone in Macau. Incidentally, the first two job incumbents of Security investigation in the casino (the first & his replacement) were ex-CIA agents!!!

But the PRCLO people are not stupid, they have planted their ears & eyes in the American casino since day one of its operations. Many of these ‘special’ staff are Macau locals and those hired by SilverStone from mainland China. In this case, PRCLO gets to know some internal incidents of casino and continues to monitor situations closely… Till today.

Periodically, PRCLO holds ‘meetings’ with factions of Macau triads to keep track of what’s going on under the surface. Many junkets are under such liaison scheme in the early days of Macau’s liberalization of casino industry. But what makes these gangs willing to cooperate with PRCLO? The obvious reason: In Macau, the PLA regiment (Army) is even of a larger force than their counterpart in Hong Kong. As Beijing is concerned, the games rule is that simple, they (the triads) either to cooperate or made to disappear! Such arrangement apparently works very well from 1999 December after the handover of Macau from Portugal to China…

(To be continued)


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