Wednesday, September 06, 2006

叉燒飯與發財團

隨著永利渡假村今天凌晨正式開幕,澳門賭業將正式走向國際化階段。澳博行政總裁何博士揚言中國人的廚房能煮出世界最好的菜,為旗下賭場免費向賭客贈送叉燒飯,以提升競爭力。

禤中怡並非澳門常客,很難以專業角度來分析業內情況,但有去過美國賭城拉斯維加斯者,都會知道美國人搞賭場的確有一手。

首先,就是如何理解賭場這兩個字,東、西方的差別已相當大,中國傳統賭博的地方,叫做賭坊,業務十分專注,只有一個賭字,而這個傳統,在澳門亦一直沒有太大變化(指賭權開放前)。

但美國拉斯維加斯,由於賭場眾多,故此各出奇謀爭賭客是平常事。他們甚至有不同策略來吸引不同消費能力的賭客。年前禤中怡到美探親,曾經跟著年屆七十的姨媽與姨丈參加由賭場與旅行社合辦的巴士旅行團,當地人稱之為“發財團”,賭場除包食、包住、包交通費外,更向團友派發籌碼,條件是旅客們需在賭場內逗留約4小時,但賭與不賭則任君選擇。而且更有自助餐券奉送,姨丈笑著說,自退休後,去發財團已成為他的每周好節目,而他的戰績則有輸有贏,但注碼不大,亦無傷大雅。

豪客方面,美國賭場就更落本,除以VIP食宿規格送贈豪客到訪外,豪客們還有專用信貸戶口,若需要即時周轉,大可向賭場借錢。據說很多香港富豪也有用上這等服務,並可選擇回程後才還款,但息口如何則不得而知了。

另一方面,美國賭場經營概念包含著很大程度的娛樂、消閒成分,故在娛樂節目上也十分講究,如過去十多年來,亞洲豪客消費增加,亞洲明星便成為了當地各大賭場的歌舞劇院之登台常客。(香港的紅歌星相信亦沒有未去過吧。)而美國當地紅星,更會視到拉斯維加斯登台為掘金之旅,近年最經典者,首推加拿大紅歌星Celine Dion,這位女天后自2003年起一直在拉斯維加斯凱撒皇宮(Caesers Palace)賭場登台長駐演出,而且與賭場的演出合約據講長達4年,酬金達1億美元。

凱撒皇宮賭場更特別為配合這位巨星的演出,斥資9,500萬美元(約7.4億港元)興建一座能夠容納4,000人的圓形競技場劇院,並安排70名舞蹈員等,投資不菲。正當她就快完成演出合約之際,原來凱撒皇宮賭場已經安排好接替人選,就是美國明星雪兒。據講她將於08年起開始登場,單是酬金便高達6,000萬美元(約4.68億港元),認真和味!

說回澳門,禤中怡亦聽聞永利渡假村如何善待員工,例如現時永利為員工提供膳食,每日可選菜式最少兩款,還有湯水、牛奶、果汁等供應;且員工餐廳設置電視及音響系統,感覺有如進入豪華西餐廳一樣。相對以往賭場沒有膳食供應,更沒有多少福利。賭場競爭愈激烈,澳門賭場員工們理應得益更多!其實,永利是美國拉斯維加斯賭城的鼻祖,其靈魂人物是美國西岸賭王、有拉斯維加斯「賭場之父」的史提芬永利。這位猶太裔賭王,在福布斯富豪榜排行第365位,身家估計達21億美元(約164億港元)。擁有賓夕法尼亞大學英國文學及商業學位的他,在拉斯維加斯擁有Mirage、Bellagio、Wynn Las Vegas Resort等三家賭場及酒店。

除了開賭事蹟外,史提芬賭王的驚人舉動還有在1997年以3.7億元購得畢加索名畫《Lereve》,及今年5月以7,852萬元投得明朝花瓶,創出同類瓷器的世界拍賣紀錄,並把這件寶物贈送予澳門博物館。
(9月6日刊於《am730》)

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