Service with a smile is welcome change to 'Brother Sun's ways'

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 19 May, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 May, 2004, 12:00am
 

Gamblers visiting Sands casino yesterday said it was more customer-friendly than the other casinos in Macau.


Many agreed that the services on offer were more comprehensive than in the 12 casinos run by Stanley Ho Hung-sun.


'Brother Sun's ways are outdated,' said one woman, referring to Mr Ho. She said dealers and catering staff had been nicer to her at Sands.


'I'm here to support a new era in Macau,' she added.


Ms Lai, 43, another punter from Macau, said: 'The air is just better here.'


Waiters donning traditional tea-pickers' hats made from bamboo strips served tea to the punters, while in the second-floor buffet restaurant, four white-uniformed receptionists bowed and welcomed every customer.


And there were no signs of the prostitutes who circle the corridors outside the Lisboa gaming tables and loiter outside the Jai Alai Casino.


Sands offers similar games to those on offer in the existing casinos. It also features what is billed as the world's largest chandelier, boasting 5,970 light bulbs.


The staff uniforms also form part of this new look. The prevailing colour is gold to reflect the Chinese name of Sands casino, which translates as 'gold sand'.


Dealers sport gold and black outfits while valet parking staff and bellboys are kitted out in maroon vests with golden embroidery.


It is a refreshing change to the uniforms at Mr Ho's casinos - black vests with an embossed floral design with white shirts and black slacks.


'We have a computerised system that stores our uniforms and keeps them looking new,' one dealer said.


'We cannot take them home. I wouldn't want to anyway, because we're told that they cost 1,700 patacas each.'


THE NEW KID ON THE BLOCK


Sands casino stands on reclaimed land between the Mandarin Oriental hotel and the Macau ferry terminal.


The 24,400 square metre complex, which cost US$240 million and took 15 months to complete, was designed by American Paul Steelman.


It features 319 gaming tables, 510 slot machines, nine restaurants, six bars and a theatre that seats 750 people. The casino also has 51 guest suites, 18 VIP rooms and a spa. The company has hired 4,500 staff in Macau.


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