Following the White House announcement of plans to ease restrictions, Vegas reservations from U.K. travelers have spiked, said Wynn CEO Matthew Maddox, revealing pent-up demand from international travelers.
“Just this week, when it was announced you can come to the U.S. if you’re vaccinated, we had reservations from the U.K. spike from effectively zero to hundreds a day,” Maddox told CNBC on Thursday. “People are wanting to come to Las Vegas and have a good time.”
The travel restrictions changes, set to take effect in early November, will make it mandatory to show proof of vaccination and a negative Covid test taken within three days of departure for the U.S. Maddox says the awaited return of foreign visitors to Las Vegas will largely help Wynn and other businesses within the gaming industry, which are already on their way to recovery.
“I’ve been at Wynn for 20 years and we’ve never experienced the type of business that we’re seeing right now in Las Vegas and in Boston,” said the CEO. “It’s extraordinary, and we’re seeing it without international travel.”
Maddox also offered insight into Macau’s situation, as the company’s shares have been under pressure since authorities in the Chinese enclave began a 45-day period of consultation on the region’s gaming industry.
Prospects of tighter regulation, including the appointment of Chinese representatives to supervise Macau companies, have led to operators in the enclave see their stocks dropping $18 billion earlier this month as a result of the uncertainty prevailing. However, Wynn’s CEO remains confident about the company’s operations in the region.
"We employ 15,000 people there. We’re good corporate citizens, and I have a very, very bullish view of the future of Macao and what we’re going to see going forward,” he told the previously cited news source. “I think what’s going in Macao is not punitive; it’s practical. They’re moving to a really highly regulated environment, just like we experience here in the United States.”
Earlier this month, it was revealed Wynn Resorts obtained a $1.5 billion loan following the record stock drop in Macau. The credit line from the Bank of China will be used to refinance debt at Wynn Macau and its subsidiaries, and to pay for ongoing working capital needs and for general corporate purposes. The agreement reached also allows Wynn to borrow an additional $1 billion under certain conditions.
On Monday, Sept. 20, casino operators in the region asked authorities for clarity on the proposed new gambling laws. The legal revisions are set to contemplate changes in licensing, both in how many will be allowed and for how long, among other issues.