Sunday, 20 January 2013

Bankrolling Casino Coffers

The bright lights of Macau luring gamblers to the Las Vegas of the East
For many people in Macau, the gaming industry is the most promising in terms of career prospects and salaries.

With luxury hotels constantly opening, there are non-stop opportunities for locals and foreigners who want to get in on the action.

We recently met a young South Asian ethnic Chinese woman who has lived in Macau for seven years.

Her previous job was working at The Venetian, though she adds, "Almost everyone has worked at The Venetian at one point or another. Some even go back because the company is so large that there is lots of room for promotion."

She said was in the marketing gaming department, where they had to think of new promotions and incentives for gamblers to keep coming back.

Then we asked her if she knew of gamblers who came everyday -- and I cited the example of the middle-aged woman I met on the Turbojet back to Hong Kong who admitted she came to Macau everyday to gamble.

"Oh yes," this young woman said. "There are people who come everyday. We had some VIP customers and we would keep track of them.

"One time in a meeting, someone asked, 'What happened to X customer? We haven't seen them for a while,'" she recounted. "Then someone in the meeting replied, 'Oh I just saw in the newspaper that they're in prison now.'"

She said there was another who committed suicide, and another who was murdered because he didn't pay up his debts. "You cannot imagine these are the kinds of things we talked about in the meetings."

The she proceeded to tell us about a Mr Lin, a mainlander who is the biggest VIP gambler. Apparently he spends so much at the tables that it amounts to 40 percent of all the money earned at all the Sands casinos in Macau -- including The Venetian, Sands Cotai Central and Sands Macau.

We asked if this Mr Lin was a Chinese official, but she didn't know.

He is such a big V-V-V-VIP customer that once when The Venetian wanted to change the chairs in the casinos, they asked this Mr Lin to test drive some samples out until he approved of them.

And whenever he leaves Macau, the staff at Sands casinos have been instructed not to say "Good bye" to him, but "When are you coming back, Mr Lin? Shall we book your accommodation now for your next visit here?"

And we are guessing that all the female staff who wait on him are particularly pretty, while they and the rest of the staff on standby cater to his every whim.

We wonder though, does this Mr Lin know that he probably bankrolled Sheldon Adelson's almost $150 million donation to the Republican party for the 2012 elections?

Adelson lost big time with US President Barack Obama winning a second term and coincidentally being sworn in today.

Nevertheless Adelson says he is determined to double his donations again for the 2016 election.

He better hope Mr Lin will still come to his casinos and continue to lose big...

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