Jean-Louis Masurel, managing director of Société des Bains de Mer (SBM), the owner-operator of the Monte Carlo Casino and other major properties within the Principality of Monaco, minces no words in explaining why his storied European firm chose the Galaxy Entertainment Group as its Asian partner—because they are “the best.”
“We identified the best one,” he declared in an exclusive interview with Asia Gaming Brief, “the most successful one, the youngest. But amazingly, even though they were the youngest, they are the most successful.”
With considerable financial resources but little land to develop in tiny Monaco, Masurel said a foray into East Asia is “a natural expansion toward the part of the world which is developing the fastest.” He added, “We felt the best way to open up our interests in Asia was to find the right partner.”
Michael Mecca, who now serves as a non-executive director of the Galaxy board, expresses enthusiasm about the arrangement: “The partnership of coming to Japan together allows us to discuss with any city in Japan that we bring the best of Europe together with the best of Asia.”
He confirmed that Galaxy has participated in the RFI processes in Osaka, Tomakomai, and Sasebo (Nagasaki); and that they intend to do so in the forthcoming Wakayama RFI as well.
Jeremy Walker, Galaxy’s vice-president for international development, noted that what SBM really offers a Galaxy bid is not the “hardware” of buildings and casinos, but the “software” to enhance the non-gaming aspects of a prospective Japanese IR: “Through this relationship that we have with Monaco, we have this world-class array of arts, culture, music, entertainment, sports, to bring to Japan,” he states.
One specific example cited by SBM’s Masurel is that a Cafe de Paris Monte Carlo will be opening in July at a Galaxy property in Macau.