Baccarat is a big revenue driver on the Las Vegas Strip. According to the Nevada Gaming Control Board, $10 million was bet on baccarat in 2015 in Las Vegas. The bad news is that this was down nearly $2 billion from 2014, which likely relates to a weakening Chinese economy. Yes, Chinese tourists visit Las Vegas and play baccarat. They also overwhelmingly prefer Chinese cuisine and prefer to speak Mandarin. All of this could be bad news for (LVS), Wynn Resorts Ltd. (WYNN), MGM Resorts International (MGM), and Caesars Entertainment Corporation (CZR). (See also: Why Does Billionaire David Tepper Benefit from Caesars' Bankruptcy?)

 

You might know the name Bill Weidner, but he played a big role in legalizing gambling in Macau. He is also the former president and chief operating officer for Las Vegas Sands. Needless to say, he knows the industry. That gives him a big advantage with his new venture – the Lucky Dragon Hotel & Casino. Lucky Dragon will target Chinese tourists who want to play baccarat, eat their local cuisine, and speak their own language. 

David Jacoby, chief operating officer for Lucky Dragon, told the Los Angeles Times, “We set out trying to put together a place that would stand alone in Shanghai if you dropped it off down there today. We didn’t want to [have] just gongs, Asian tapestries and caricature-stuff like that.”

When a Chinese tourists enters Lucky Dragon, they will have the option of speaking Mandarin to employees, they can play baccarat, and they will have five different Chinese-themed restaurants to choose from. Lucky Dragon is banking on those restaurants driving Chinese tourist traffic from larger casinos in Las Vegas, which could lead to “Come to eat, stay to play.” Also, in order to cater to Chinese traditions, there will be an eight-sided bar; and the number 4 will not be found anywhere throughout the hotel, including rooms and elevators. The Lucky Dragon will be a 203-room boutique hotel, and it’s set to open on December 3.

Lucky Dragon will be located off the North Strip, and it has the potential to steal market share from the bigger players in town. Even if that’s not the case, the larger casinos listed above will have something bigger to worry about on the horizon. In 2019, Resorts World will open on the North Strip. It will also cater to the Chinese market, and it will stand out more, with 3,200 rooms and unique features, such as a Great Wall.   

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