GREATER CHINA 8
construction worker on the site triggered a six-week suspension of operations to upgrade safety, while a series of fires have made delays to the opening inevitable. The Lisboa Palace was targeting 2018 to be up and running, though analysts say 2019 is now more likely. The only significant development to begin operations in 2017 was that of Macau Legend’s Legend Palace casino hotel at the revamped Fisherman’s Wharf in February. The property was granted 15 new mass market gaming tables and has 223 hotel rooms. The other major story this year among Macau’s operators was the dissolution of the Melco Crown Entertainment joint venture, with Crown Resorts selling out its share to Melco to focus on its domestic operations. The partnership had been seen as one of the most successful in the industry, giving rise to the City of Dreams Macau and Manila and the Studio City resort. Melco has subsequently renamed to Melco Resorts and Entertainment and surprised the market in August with the announcement it plans an initial public offering for Studio City, which it owns in a venture with a minority partner. Most observers were sceptical about the plan and say it’s more likely that Melco will buy out New Cotai Holdings. When it comes to regulatory developments in Macau, the government is still keeping the industry guessing about the fast looming deadline for the renewal of the operators’ concessions. SJM’s and MGM’s concessions are set to expire in 2020, while Wynn Macau, Galaxy Entertainment, Melco’s and Sands China’s licenses are set to expire in 2022. The government has made it clear that the process won’t be a straightforward rollover of existing contracts, though it has not clarified what kind of additional terms or conditions the companies may face. The existing operators are not expected to lose their licenses, though most analysts are expecting some kind of additional cost. In a July statement, the government said it would study “all feasible directions,” including a review of whether any related laws regarding gaming concessions ought to be amended. China’s ongoing efforts to combat capital outflows have also been felt in Macau. New verification requirements were introduced at ATMs for holders of China-issued Unionpay cards, including facial recognition. The measures were put in place to prevent people from misusing the cards, though the gaming industry has said it has not noted a significant impact.
Asia Gaming Briefings | November 2017
GROSS GAMING REVENUE GGR 2016 MOP 223.21
Q3 GGR MOP 67b
Q3 VIP MOP 38.69b
Q3 Mass MOP 28.32b
+6% (Source: Bernstein)
Operators beef up security measures Macau’s gaming regulator and the Judiciary Police are ensuring the six operators comply with measures to beef up security at the casinos. The head of the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ), Paulo Martins Chan, said that the concessionaires are continuing to adopt security measures, such as the installation of metal detectors in arches of casino entrances, and until their completion portable metal detectors would be used. Special training for frontline workers - including intensive physical training, crisis management and identification of suspicious persons - is also being carried out by the concessionaires, while in some properties the number of security personnel is being increased.
Lawmaker buys Hotel Lan Kwai Fong Former Macau lawmaker Chan Meng Kam was identified as the buyer of the group which owns and operates Hotel Lan Kwai Fong in Macau, according seller China Star Entertainment. Hotel Lan Kwai Fong includes a total of 209 guest rooms, a casino situated on the ground, first and 18th floors, restaurants, a flower shop, retail shops and a spa centre. Chan reportedly acquired the hotel and residential units for HK$2 billion (US$256.1 million), with HK$200 million paid in cash as non-refundable deposit, and the remaining HK$1.8 billion to be paid upon completion.
Published on Nov 10, 2017