Wynn to reopen Vegas casino seven days 

By Ethan Anderson Updated
Wynn Macau confirms Craig Billings as new CEO

Wynn Resorts’ Las Vegas property is set to resume operations seven days a week from April 8 after closing midweek since last October due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The hotel-casino was only open each week on Thursday until Monday due to low volume, but its gaming floor and hotel will open daily from April 8.

News of the reopening is welcomed, according to University of Nevada Las Vegas’ distinguished fellow in responsible gaming at the International Gaming Institute Alan Feldman, who said he was unaware of anything like the Encore midweek shutdown ever happening.

“The fact that Las Vegas is able to re-open more hotel rooms, restaurants, shows and attractions is all comforting news not only for visitors to Las Vegas, but also for the many workers returning to their jobs,” Feldman said.

“The same can be said for residents of Nevada who are relieved to see our state’s major industry start to bounce back to life,” Feldman added.

“It has been an incredibly difficult year for families throughout Las Vegas as we’ve gone from a complete shutdown one year ago, and are now only returning to seven day-a-week operations at many hotels, even if only at 50 per cent capacity.”

The mood is Clark County is “almost celebratory as we are excited to welcome people back and bring some fun and energy back to all of our lives,” he said.

In addition, Richard McGowan, a finance professor at Boston College who closely follows gambling trends, noted how the Wynn properties “are still the most lavious on the Strip.”

“So, the Wynn reopening means that it is time for the high rollers to return to Vegas,” McGowan said.

“It certainly appears that Wynn thinks that the worst of the pandemic is over.”

He doubts it will open to full capacity.

“But Wynn’s real aim is to attract a clientele that wants total entertainment,” McGowan said.

When asked about the relatively new property, the Encore Boston Harbour, McGowan said the goal of Encore Boston Harbour is the same as Encore on the Vegas Strip.

“You want most customers to spend as much on food, shopping as you do on gambling,” McGowan said.

The Las Vegas Wynn and Encore hotel towers include 4748 rooms.

There is a total of 194,000 square feet of gaming space.

In early 2021, part of the Encore at Wynn Las Vegas was designated as a state-operated COVID-19 vaccination site.

It was called the UMC COVID-19 Vaccination Centre and Wynn Resorts also operated a saliva testing lab on the premises of Wynn Las Vegas and Encore.

Wynn pivots to grow fourth quarter earnings

A pivot in its target market has helped Wynn Resorts grow its earnings in Macau.

Calvin Ayre reported in February that the company saw its adjusted property earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation back in the black in the fourth quarter after it suffered a $112.1 million loss in the third quarter.

Wynn was in the positive by $39.4 million for the final quarter in the year, in part due to a greater focus on the premium mass gambling segment, a move that is likely to continue in the foreseeable future.

The latest figures were made available through a company filing, in which Wynn Resorts chief executive Matt Maddox pointed out that improved travel and reduced COVID-19 restrictions helped with the recovery process.

In addition, the premium mass segment gave the rebound “particular strength”, while VIP and mass-market gaming improved as well.

The quarter’s mass market table drop was $1.29 billion, six times higher than the previous quarter and VIP turnover from table games improved almost at the same rate, coming in at $4.58 billion.

Still, both figures were nowhere near the number Wynn Macau had seen a year earlier, before the coronavirus upended Macau.

The improvement in premium mass action was possible due to a shift in operations across the last six months of 2020.

Wynn realised what was going to drive its growth and began implementing changes that would allow it to focus better on the premium mass segment.

Maddox explained in the company filing that, “it’s crystal clear that the growth drivers for Macau are really the sweet spot for our company, and that’s the premium segment, premium mass in particular.”

He added, “the premium segment did better than the core mass segment, it was not down 50 per cent as the overall mass was.

“We do not need 50,000 people a day walking through our facilities to get back to our target.

“We require significantly less people because we cater to the higher-end customer…we are targeting that segment and we are going to get more market share in the premium-mass segment than we have in the past.”

Wynn had predicted in 2020 that VIP gambling was likely to take a hit as it began to shift gears.

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