Ian Coughlan was appointed as president of Wynn Macau, replacing Gamal Abdelaziz, who resigned, the Las Vegas-based company said Friday in a filing. Coughlan will be responsible for all operations and development at the Wynn Palace, as well as the Wynn Macau resort, the company said. The Palace opened on Aug. 22, and the part that caters to mass-market customers has been lacklustre in its first weeks, analysts said.
According to Bloomberg, Coughlan joined Wynn Macau in January 2007. He has over 30 years of hospitality experience with leading hotels across Asia, Europe and the United States. Before joining Wynn Resorts, Limited, he spent ten years with The Peninsula Group, serving as a general manager of Peninsula Hong Kong from September 2004 to January 18, 2007.
Gamal Abdelaziz led the development of its new USD4.2 billion Wynn Palace resort and served as president of Wynn Macau since 2007. His “departure should be an indication that the post-opening ramp of the Palace has been disappointing,” Harry Curtis, an analyst at Nomura Securities, wrote in a note Friday. “It will take a long time to build a mass presence at the Palace, which was built more for premium players.”
Wynn Resorts plans to release opening numbers for the resort at an unspecified time, the company said Friday in an e-mail.
The Palace opened following a two-year a slump in gambling in Macau. Gambling rose 1.1 percent in August and 7.4 percent in September. Analysts are now warning that gaming may take another hit when Chinese Premier Li Keqiang travels to Macau in October to attend the Forum Macau’s ministerial conference.
“Historically, visits to Macau by high-level PRC officials have had short-term negative impacts on gross gaming revenue and we expect this same dynamic to occur in October,” said Grant Govertsen, a Macau-based analyst at Union Gaming.
Curtis at Nomura noted that once Macau’s new light-rail system is operational, the Palace could achieve a 10 percent return on invested capital, though he said initial gains should be closer to mid-single digits. (Macau News/Macau Daily Times/Bloomberg) (Photo: Antonius Photoscript)