Macau is to have 11 so-called satellite casinos that will continue to operate under the new 10-year gaming concessions starting from January 1, 2023, compared to 18 satellite casinos that were in the market as of June-end this year, a decrease of 38.9 percent.
The information was given by André Cheong Weng Chon (pictured second right), Secretary for Administration and Justice, during a Friday press conference following the signing of the new concession contracts.
Nine of the 11 satellite casinos are under SJM Holdings Ltd’s licence, one is under Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd’s permit, and one is under Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd’s Macau gaming rights.
The satellite casinos that are mentioned as continuing to rely on SJM Holdings’ licence after January 1 are: Casino Grandview in Taipa, and the Macau peninsula venues Casino Landmark, Casino Casa Real, Casino Kam Pek Paradise, Casino Fortuna, Casino Emperor Palace, Casino Ponte 16, Casino L’Arc Macau, and Casino Legend Palace.
The gaming venue to remain under Galaxy Entertainment’s rights is Casino Waldo in downtown Macau. The one using Melco Resorts’ gaming rights is Casino Grand Dragon in Taipa. The information is based on the content of the new concession contracts published on Friday night.
Satellites operate under the gaming licence of a Macau concessionaire, but are usually promoted by third parties. Under Macau’s revised gaming law – approved by the city’s Legislative Assembly in June - satellite venues have three years to transition to a management-company arrangement, where such an entity will not be allowed to share gaming revenue, but only have a management fee from a concessionaire.
Seven existing SJM Holdings satellites not mentioned in SJM Holdings’ new concession contract – and therefore anticipated to be ceasing gaming from January 1 – include Casino Taipa, located inside the Regency Art Hotel, in the Taipa district, but which had been in suspension for some time.
The Macau-peninsula based SJM Holdings-licensed venues assumed to be exiting the market are: Casino Eastern; Casino Diamond; plus Casino Babylon at Macau Fisherman’s Wharf; as well as Casino Million Dragon, Casino Golden Dragon, and Casino Royal Dragon.
The latter three were all founded by Macau businessman Chan Meng Kam; with Taipa’s Casino Grand Dragon also founded by the entrepreneur, confirmed as remaining in the mix as mentioned, under Melco Resorts’ licence.
On Friday, Secretary Cheong said in the press conference that how many of the remaining satellites would want to transition into a situation where they were run by management companies, would be a commercial decision, related to market conditions.
The official also mentioned that the government would not disclose publicly the scoring of the six successful concession applicants under the public tender process.
Nonetheless, the government had previously said that the announced list of the Macau-based units awarded a concession was in descending order of scoring, namely: MGM Grand Paradise SA; Galaxy Casino SA; Venetian Macau SA; Melco Resorts (Macau) SA; Wynn Resorts (Macau) SA; and SJM Resorts SA.
The other Macau government officials taking part in Friday’s press conference were fellow members of the committee for the gaming concessions public tender, the body that assessed the applications under the recent tender process.
They were: Adriano Marques Ho (pictured, far left), director of the city’s casino regulator, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau; Lei Wai Nong (pictured, second left), Secretary for Economy and Finance; and Elsie Ao Ieong U (pictured, far right), Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture.
Another press conference is scheduled for Saturday, to be attended by representatives of the concessionaires and Secretary Lei and Secretary Cheong.
(Updated 7.40pm Dec 16)
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