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VIP shoppers are Galaxy’s new target: Bloomberg

Casino operator Galaxy Entertainment Group has been trying to attract a new type of customer in an attempt to prop up non-gaming revenue, reports Bloomberg.

The operator has been rewarding big shoppers with free hotel stays and access to resort facilities - perks that were once reserved for VIP gamblers.

“A VIP can be either a big gambler or a big shopper,” said chief marketing officer Kevin Clayton in an interview with Bloomberg. While high-stakes gamblers remain an important source of income in Macau, the company is redefining its VIP label, he said.

The move comes in a time when operators such as Galaxy are increasingly turning to the mass market and non-gaming sources of revenue to fill the void left by the struggling VIP segment.

In May 2015, Galaxy Macau completed a major expansion. A little over a year later, the property has been rewarding customers who are spending more than MOP 10,000 (US$1,252) a day with shopping vouchers and free use of resort facilities. Those spending MOP 30,000 are given a complimentary night in its hotels.

If stores in Galaxy’s properties generate more sales through the latest promotion, it will help boost the operator’s bargaining power when rentals come up for renewal, said Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Margaret Huang. These big shoppers are likely to gamble as well, she said.

On Wednesday, Paulo Chan, head of the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau said that Macau’s gaming industry needed to see more revenue come from recreational players in order to develop the city in a sustainable way. The government has been aiming to have its casinos’ non-gaming revenue reach to nine percent by 2020 as part of its five-year development plan.

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