The Macau government is granting 15 new-to-market gaming tables, to be earmarked for mass play, to Legend Palace Hotel, the latest hotel property at Macau Fisherman’s Wharf promoted by Hong Kong-listed casino services firm Macau Legend Development Ltd. The venue will also be allowed to have 91 slot machines.
The city’s Secretary for Economy and Finance, Lionel Leong Vai Tac (pictured), gave the news to local media on Wednesday on the sidelines of an event.
“SJM has made this [table] request to the government for the Legend Palace Hotel,” Mr Leong told reporters.
SJM Holdings Ltd, one of Macau’s six casino licensees, provides the permit that allows Macau Legend to host gaming at some of its hotel properties.
Mr Leong added the decision regarding Legend Palace had been made after “comprehensive consideration – including the factor of working towards the goal to help Macau to develop as a world centre of tourism and leisure”.
“We just completed the related procedure [of approving tables] today,” Mr Leong added.
The 223-room Legend Palace Hotel, which includes space for a casino, is the second new hotel under a redevelopment plan for Macau Fisherman’s Wharf. The other, Harbourview Hotel, opened in February 2015.
As a gaming services business, Macau Legend does not hold table quota in its own right, but instead must rely on the quota of one of the existing Macau casino operators. It currently collaborates with SJM Holdings Ltd in relation to table quota.
“From what I understood, they [Macau Legend] will see the moving of about 55 gaming tables – consisting of both mass and VIP gaming tables – from other SJM casinos to Legend Palace Hotel,” Mr Leong told the media when asked about the gaming elements planned for the new property.
Referring to the approval for 15 new-to-market gaming tables earmarked for mass play at Legend Palace, Mr Leong added: “As in the past, we are still strictly abiding to the rule of [a maximum] annual 3 percent growth for gaming tables [market wide] for the span of ten years. And you can also see that we have earmarked the newly-granted tables for mass play only.”
He said: “Mass play has an important role for our gaming revenue, and it [mass tourism] has also brought new client sources for our small- and medium-sized enterprises. So we will continue to stick by this principle [for table allocation].”
Macau casino operators are subject to a cap imposed by the city’s government regarding the number of new-to-market tables. The table cap aims to limit the increase in live-dealer table numbers to 3 percent compound annual expansion until the end of 2022, from a base of 5,485 tables recorded at the end of the fourth quarter in 2012.
In the first half of 2016, Macau Legend had an aggregate of 179 gaming tables, located at Babylon Casino at Macau Fisherman’s Wharf and Pharaoh’s Palace Casino at the Landmark Macau casino hotel. During the six months to June 30, 135 gaming tables were in operation at Macau Legend’s properties, according to its 2016 interim report filed in Hong Kong.
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”Continued negative coverage of the Abe administration, coupled with political losses for the Liberal Democratic Party ... may reduce support for the gaming agenda, which already has only limited public support”
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