Casino services firm Macau Legend Development Ltd said in a filing late on Tuesday that it had been granted “35 additional gaming tables” by the Macau government.
“The board expects that the additional gaming tables will increase the gaming capacity of the company and its subsidiaries and support the current development of Macau Fisherman’s Wharf,” it said in the statement.
“The company would like to take this opportunity to express its sincere gratitude to the Macau Government, the DICJ and Sociedade de Jogos de Macau, SA for their continual support,” it added, referring to the local regulator the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ), and to a local unit of SJM Holdings Ltd, which supplies the gaming licence to Macau Legend.
The “formal approval” process however is ongoing, a spokeswoman for DICJ confirmed to GGRAsia late on Wednesday, adding that the gaming tables have not yet been officially granted.
Earlier on Wednesday, Macau’s Secretary for Economy and Finance, Francis Tam Pak Yuen, said the government “was positive” about the application by SJM for fresh tables. He told local media that the casino operator had requested 45 new gaming tables, 35 of which were for use at Macau Fisherman’s Wharf.
Macau Legend – co-chaired by former Macau legislator David Chow Kam Fai – said in its third quarter report issued on Tuesday, that as of September 30 it had a total of 150 gaming tables in its two currently operating casinos – Pharoah’s Palace and Babylon.
“We expect this first batch of additional new tables is adequate given current environment and the group will continue to apply for additional tables as it required to support the redevelopment of Macau Fisherman’s Wharf,” Mr Chow said in a statement.
In a prospectus for a global share offering in 2013, the company said: “…DICJ advised us and SJM in writing on 7 December 2012 that the measures taken by the Macau government to limit the number of gaming tables in September 2011 [sic] will not be an obstacle to the request…for operating up to 500 tables in total.”
The prospectus added it was planning up to three new hotels for a revamped Fisherman’s Wharf (pictured in an artist’s rendering), a waterside site on Macau peninsula controlled by Macau Legend.
In August, Macau Legend said in a Hong Kong filing that the structure of the first of the new properties – called Harbourview Hotel – would be “substantially completed” in the third quarter of 2014, with the opening “tentatively scheduled” for the fourth quarter. The new hotel will be connected to Babylon by a skywalk.
“Initially, we are planning to deploy the additional new tables to Babylon Casino to support the opening of the Harbourview Hotel, which is our first new hotel at Macau Fisherman’s Wharf,” Mr Chow said in Tuesday’s statement.
On Tuesday, Macau Legend reported revenue of HKD452 million (US$58.3 million) for the third quarter of 2014, up by 7.3 percent from a year earlier.
Its gaming revenue for the period, which already included the contribution a new high roller club called New Legend VIP Club Ltd, increased by 10 percent year-on-year to HKD323.9 million, the firm said. The company did not provide a figure for profit.
(Updated at 6.55pm)
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”According to Macau law, the security personnel of casinos and the management staff do not have the law enforcement power that the police have”
Wong Sio Chak
Macau’s Secretary for Security