Galaxy Entertainment and SBM Partner on Asia-Pacific Casinos
Two leaders in their own casino gambling spheres singed a partnership to work on projects in the Asia-Pacific Region: Galaxy Entertainment and Societe des Bains de Mer (SBM). Galaxy Entertainment Group owns the Galaxy Macau, Broadway Casino, and StarWorld in Macau, China. SBM owns the world-famous Monte Carlo Casino, the Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo, and the Opera de Monte-Carlo in the French Riviera principality of Monaco.
GEG and SBM agreed on a strategic partnership in the Asia-Pacific Region, but the two are most-focused on the Japanese gaming market. Japan passed a casino bill in December 2016 and most believe the Japanese casino industry could be the third-most lucrative gaming market in the world, behind only China and the United States.
Promoting Implementation of Specified Integrated Resort Areas
Even more recently, the Japanese Diet approved a bill called “Promoting Implementation of Specified Integrated Resort Areas”. The new law regulates the building of the kind of multi-billion dollar integrated casino-resorts which top gaming developers want to build these days. The table seems to be set for a scramble to gain licensing among the top casino corporations in the world, so two top players signing a joint venture partnership should resound through the international land-based casino industry.
Jean Luc Biamonti, SBM’s chairman and CEO, pointed out the many similarities between his company and Galaxy Entertainment. Mr. Biamonti said both companies are focused on the well-being of their local community, their employees, and the global environment. SBM’s chief executive also said both casino companies focus on “maintaining the utmost quality in world-class resort design and service standards.”
Biamonti Points to GEG’s Asian Experience
Biamonti believes Galaxy Entertainment’s years of experience in the Asian gaming market and its many business connections should be a key asset in the strategic partnership. It goes without saying the unrivaled prestige of Societe des Bains de Mer should impress Japanese gaming regulators, who likely will want to pick-and-choose the best gambling companies around the world.
Dr. Lui Che Woo, the chairman of Galaxy Entertainment Group, said of the deal, “We are honored to be cooperating as a strategic partner with SBM, one of the most iconic, luxury, hospitality brands in the world.”
It is unknown how the partnership might affect any joint ventures with Japanese companies. Japan’s lawmakers have made it clear they expect international casino giants to partner with local Japanese developer, if they intend to secure a casino license.
Lui Che Woo: “Even More Premium Hospitality and Entertainment Experiences”
Lui Che Woo said that the deal allows them to pair their knowledge of 21st century Asian integrated casino management with the most famous of the Old World casino companies. He said, “Since the opening of our flagship property Galaxy Macau in 2011, we have quickly gained a reputation for developing and operating some of the most spectacular Integrated Resorts in the world and, together with SBM, we look forward to creating even more premium hospitality and entertainment experiences for our customers to enjoy in the years ahead.”
Societe des Bains de Mer Profile
The Societe des Bains de Mer is the world’s oldest casino company, having been in existence since 1863. SBM’s owners read like a who’s who of European gambling magnates. SBM was founded by the Blanc Brothers, including the “Magician of Homburg”, Francois Blanc. In the 20th Century, Aristotle Onassis was the principle owner of SBM.
After a falling out between Aristotle Onassis and Prince Reinier III and a somewhat questionable legal maneuver by the ruling family of Monaco, the House of Grimaldi, forced Onassis to sell his shares of the company. The House of Grimaldi continues to be the principle owners of SBM to this day. Until recently, the Monte Carlo casinos were the family’s chief source of income.
Galaxy Entertainment Group Profile
Galaxy Entertainment Group has a far less illustrious beginning, but its rise to prominence in the casino industry is no less remarkable. Lui Che Woo founded GEG as “K. Wah Construction Materials”, a construction company, in 1988. For the first 17 years of its existence, K Wah Construction was a builder of other people’s businesses.
In 2005, the construction company bought a 97.9% stake in “Galaxy Casino SA”. Chinese commentators and global gaming analysts scoffed at the buyout at the time, comparing the transaction to a “snake trying to swallow an elephant.” Galaxy Entertainment was successful, in spite of the doubters. Dr. Lui Che Woo originally had plans on a joint venture with Sheldon Adelson of Las Vegas Sands Corp. on Macau casino projects, but the two went their separate ways and now are among the biggest rivals in the Macau gaming market.