Wynn Macau confirmed that it will follow the US parent Wynn Resorts’ lead. It has decided to appoint Craig Billings to be the new CEO of the company once Matt Maddox leaves early next year.
Billings Takes the Helm
Billings will assume the role and will be redesigned from a non-executive director to an executive director starting January 31, 2022. Maddox will continue as a non-executive director until December 31, 2022.
This follows Maddox’s sudden announcement last month that he would be stepping down next year after 20 years of service to the company and four years in the top position. He also stated that he wanted to pursue other career opportunities. Wynn Resorts directors asked him to temporarily remain on Wynn Interactive and Wynn Macau’s Board of Directors.
Billings, the former President and CFO of Wynn Resorts, was named to the role of Wynn Resorts CEO following that announcement.
Wynn Macau stated that Maddox would also resign as director and officer of the company’s subsidiaries. This includes as chairman of Wynn Resorts Macau SA (WRM), the entity that holds the company’s gaming concession. It added that Billings would become chairman of the Board of Directors of WRM if certain Macau regulatory procedures are completed.
Billings Has His Work Cut Out For Him
The once-largest gambling market in the world is still struggling to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. In November, Macau casinos added another sub-par month.
The Gaming Inspection & Coordination Bureau (DICJ, for its Portuguese acronym) recently reported that operators in the ex-Portuguese colony received $834 million from gambling patrons during November. These figures show a 55% increase in revenue compared to October’s gross earnings. However, it doesn’t really mean much since it was the worst month for the market in 2021. The 70% drop in revenue from November 2019 before the pandemic caused havoc around the world is a more important comparison.
Macau’s worst year-over-year decline in six years occurred in April 2019. However, it still reported $3.23 billion in gaming revenue that month.
The recent lull is worse than analysts anticipated. Most believed the market would remain flat at 2020 levels. Recent events suggest that Macau’s casino market is likely to remain unstable for the foreseeable future. Any increase in COVID-19-related cases could lead to more travel restrictions on the mainland, and any new gambling regulations.
Many of the regulations were proposed last September. They could include reducing the validity of a gambling license, having government officials oversee the daily operations of properties, and strengthening the verification of junket operators. These regulations could reduce gaming revenue and lower margins for operators.
More Changes Coming to Macau
These proposals are more likely to be implemented following the recent arrest of Alvin Chau, one of the largest junket operators in the area. The former CEO of Suncity Group was arrested for illegal gambling charges at the end of November. Chau is accused of using Macau as a base to operate an illegal “live betting platform” that was based in the Philippines.
All this comes as the tourism outlook for the region is bleak. The latest available data shows that October’s visitor rate is now down 90% from pre-pandemic levels.
Stepping into 2022, Billings will have to combat all of the negativity. He will face a number of uncertainties immediately after assuming his role. 2022 could be a defining year for Macau’s gaming future, and Billings will be at the forefront of it all.