A Hong Kong-listed company controlled by Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd co-chairman Lawrence Ho Yau Lung (pictured) says it expects a second-phase public tender for a casino resort near Barcelona, Spain, to start “shortly”.
MelcoLot Ltd – which in the first half this year made 79 percent of its revenue from sports lottery distribution in mainland China – is seeking to expand, via subsidiaries, into casino operations interests in Europe.
MelcoLot said in a filing to the Growth Enterprise Market of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in August last year that a wholly owned subsidiary called Instant Glory Holdings Ltd “recently became a shareholder” of a company called BCN Integrated Resorts 2 SA, a 50-50 joint venture with Veremonte España SL.
BCN Integrated Resorts 2 “was formed for the purpose of submitting an application” for a licence to operate a casino at BCN World, a large-scale entertainment complex planned for Barcelona. The company submitted its application on July 25, 2014, the filing said.
MelcoLot said in a filing late on Monday this week: “Regarding the development of a premium integrated resort near Barcelona, Spain, it is expected that the second phase public tender will commence shortly. Our planning process has been continuing.”
The same filing also confirmed that a planned MelcoLot investment in a casino scheme in Eastern Europe was making some progress.
“The group’s plan to launch a high end casino project in the Republic of Georgia continued to make headway,” said MelcoLot. The firm added: “Although it has taken longer than originally anticipated to settle the terms of the casino premises lease, that process is now in its final stage.”
MelcoLot said in a filing in November that a wholly owned subsidiary called Express Wealth Enterprise Ltd had been set up to hold the licence for a proposed casino project in Tbilisi, Georgia’s capital.
In the November filing MelcoLot said one of the Georgia investors was Firich Enterprises Co Ltd – a Taiwan-listed maker of electronic gaming machines. Firich has also put money into another casino project linked to Mr Ho – the Tigre de Cristal casino resort in the Primorye region in the Russian Far East.
Summit Ascent Holdings Ltd, a Hong Kong-listed firm also controlled by Mr Ho, said in a filing in May to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, said that Tigre de Cristal would open “by August 28”.
MelcoLot said on Monday that it had narrowed its first-half loss to HKD19.3 million (US$2.5 million), compared to HKD20.8 million in the year-prior period.
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"The [Macau] government has a lead in this subject in regards to what should be done after the [gaming] concessions expire. We will be first listening to what the government will say”
Ambrose So Shu Fai
Vice-chairman and chief executive at Macau casino operator SJM Holdings