Macau casino operator SJM Holdings Ltd is looking to ask the city’s government for “300 to 500” fresh-to-market gaming tables for its Cotai project, Grand Lisboa Palace. That is according to comments from the firm’s vice-chairman and chief executive, Ambrose So Shu Fai (pictured in a filed photo) made to local media on Sunday.
“Regarding Grand Lisboa Palace, we hope to finish that project by next year. So that in the first half [of 2019], we have sufficient conditions to apply for the operation permit [for Grand Lisboa Palace] from the government, ” Mr So said on the sidelines of a public event. The SJM Holdings executive also said he was positive regarding the prospects for Macau’s gross gaming revenue for 2019, which he claimed would be supported by the better connectivity of transport infrastructure in terms of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge.
SJM Holdings’ management was cited previously by brokerage Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd as noting that it expected to launch the HKD36-billion (US$4.6 billion) Grand Lisboa Palace in the last quarter of 2019. That would be shortly before the expiry of the firm’s current Macau gaming rights in 2020.
Grand Lisboa Palace is planned as a five-star, large-scale property with about 2,000 guest rooms. It will feature a hotel bearing the insignia “Grand Lisboa Palace”, as well as a Palazzo Versace hotel and a Karl Lagerfeld Hotel, according to previous information released by SJM Holdings.
Speaking to media on Sunday, Mr So noted that his firm would allocate some of its gaming table inventory from existing Macau operations for Grand Lisboa Palace in Cotai, but he did not specify how many. But in the firm’s latest interim report 2018 and annual report 2017, it did not mention the Cotai property’s carrying capacity regarding gaming tables.
During the third quarter this year, SJM Holdings operated an average of “291 VIP gaming tables” and “1,408 mass market gaming tables”, according to the firm’s third-quarter results filing released to the Hong Kong stock exchange.
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"We forecast Grand Lisboa Palace will have EBITDA of HKD2.0 billion (US$260 million) with 330 tables by 2022, and HKD3.5 billion with 380 tables by 2023"
Credit rating agency Fitch Ratings