Play Now at Playboy Casino Playboy Enterprises is optimistic for a successful product in the new gambling capital of Macau, China. The company is planning a new Playboy Mansion, complete with hotel and casino, in the very permissive gambling center near Hong Kong.
Playboy Enterprises is led by Christie Hefner, who is the daughter of founder Hugh Hefner. Ms. Hefner expects that the Playboy brand, complete with Playboy bunnies, will be warmly received in Macau.
“We are bringing the bunny back to Macau,” said Christie Hefner, “the mansion helps bring the brand to life. That’s why Disney has theme parks.”
David Friedman, co-chairman, and co-CEO of MSC said, “the Playboy deal is the first of many entertainment properties that MSC expects to sign. I don’t think anyone will have ever seen anything like the array of brands we will have.”
Other hotels Friedman is counting on are the Marriott Ritz-Carlton and the world’s first hotel by Shanghai Tang fashion group founder David Tang.
Ms. Hefner also said, “we aim to open other Playboy Mansions at the rate of about one a year.”
Other locations Playboy is looking at are Europe, the Caribbean, and Latin America.
After being turned down by the Shanghai government for a joint venture plan with Playboy and a local company in 2004, Playboy continued to seek out other venues for expansion until finally settling on the new gambling mecca.
Playboy’s partners include the hedge fund of Silver Point Capital and Oaktree Capital Management, as well as David Friedman, a former senior executive at the Las Vegas Sands. Other partners are the entertainment and media company eSun, CapitaLand, and developer Taubman Centers.
Macau appears to be a perfect fit for a Playboy Club. The city has a forty-year history as a gambling center and has a permissive environment not allowed elsewhere in China. There is a not so illegal prostitution business thriving there, as well as massage parlors and saunas, which are adjacent to many casinos.
Playboy is not alone in its effort to bring branded entities to Macau. Steve Wynn of Wynn Resorts, and Sheldon Adelson, Las Vegas Sands? Chairman is among other newcomers.
With an expected compounded growth rate of 20% over the next six years and visitor arrivals growing from 22 million last year to 65 million by 2012, Macau will be a major player in the industry for a long time to come.
Playboy sees this as a huge step into future profitability as million of Chinese tourists are interested in getting a taste of the Playboy lifestyle.
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