Macau’s gaming regulator has confirmed to GGRAsia the closure of Casino Greek Mythology in Taipa, Macau.
An emailed response sent by the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau – also known by its Portuguese acronym DICJ – said the closure was temporary, and at the request of SJM Holdings Ltd, the Macau casino operator that provides the gaming licence for the venue.
Greek Mythology is a third-party managed casino, not directly overseen by SJM Holdings. Third-party managed casinos in Macau – also known as satellite casinos – have to piggyback on the licence of one of the city’s official casino concessionaires.
“Casino Greek Mythology was closed on December 31, 2015. From the application that was sent by the casino’s gaming concessionaire SJM [Holdings], the closure is… temporary and the reason is for renovation,” said the gaming bureau’s statement.
It added: “So far, we have not yet received any request from SJM [Holdings] to relocate the tables in Casino Greek Mythology to its other casinos.”
Ambrose So Shu Fai, chief executive of SJM Holdings, on Tuesday told Macau public broadcaster TDM that the venue had closed for renovation works and would reopen. He added that the venue’s shareholders were currently in negotiations among themselves about the leadership of that renovation project.
It is unclear from GGRAsia’s inquiries how many gambling tables Greek Mythology – a gaming facility inside the Beijing Imperial Palace Hotel (pictured), formerly the New Century Hotel – currently has. DICJ did not give a figure.
In August 2012, Mr So told local media that Greek Mythology was to “give back 40 tables as well as 200 employees” to his company.
He added at the time that a row between the then shareholders of the New Century Hotel was “an internal issue”, but he admitted it had affected business volumes in the casino.
Hong Kong-listed gaming services firm Amax International Holdings Ltd has – according to its interim report for financial year 2015 published on December 16 – a 24.8 percent stake in an entity called Greek Mythology (Macau) Entertainment Group Corp Ltd. The latter was described in the filing as the operator and manager of Casino Greek Mythology.
Amax International Holdings – chaired by Macau junket veteran Ng Man Sun – said in the interim report: “The relationship between Greek Mythology and the company began to deteriorate in 2012. Greek Mythology has since refused to provide the company with its valid financial information to enable the company to prepare its financial results.”
Amax International Holdings reported a net loss of approximately HKD41.4 million (US$5.3 million) for the financial year ended March 31, 2015, compared to a net profit of around HKD65.4 million for the prior-year period.
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"I am not going to speculate on what the [casino licence refreshment] tender requirements would be. I have full confidence and faith in the Macau government to treat everyone fairly"
Wilfred Wong Ying Wai
President and chief operating officer of Macau-based casino operator Sands China