Macau casino resort MGM Cotai (pictured) is to open new luxury suites aimed at premium mass gambling customers “later this month,” said Bill Hornbuckle, the boss of the property’s parent firm, United States-based MGM Resorts International.
Mr Hornbuckle was speaking on Wednesday during the second-quarter earnings call of the U.S. parent of Macau operator MGM China Holdings Ltd.
“We have finalised the construction and fitting in our south tower suites at MGM Cotai, and are pleased with the final product, which we believe will be well received by our premium mass clients,” said Mr Hornbuckle, MGM Resorts’ president and chief executive.
“We are now in soft opening, in order to make final adjustments to the product, and to achieve a level of service that meets our high-quality standards,” he added. “We expect to officially open later this month.”
The parent’s CEO added that the Macau unit had also completed a refreshment of the casino gaming area at MGM Cotai, and was “now looking to remodel” the villas at the property.
A press release from MGM China, accompanying the second-quarter results, said the new south tower accommodation consisted of 28 suites, ranging in size from 128 square metres (1,378 sq. feet), to 371 sq. metres.
Hubert Wang, president and chief operating officer of MGM China, was quoted in the release as saying: “We believe our investments in premium product position us well for the broader recovery. At the same time, we will continue our effort and strategy in diversification and helping Macau to develop as a world tourism destination.”
On the earnings call, Mr Hornbuckle had made indirect reference to the recent local Covid-19 cases that have led to the Macau government introducing mass testing for the Macau population, and generated tighter testing rules for cross-border travel from Macau to mainland China.
He said there had been some “additional speed bumps in recent days” in the Macau market, but thanks to the local government’s “expeditious efforts to contain the outbreak,” MGM Resorts expected “gradual growth demand for travel to Macau”.
In other comments, Mr Hornbuckle outlined that MGM Resorts expected its initial capital commitment to a Japan casino resort in Osaka, would be up to US$2.5 billion, over the first three years, with the total scheme a circa US$10-billion venture. MGM Resorts, alongside Japan’s Orix Corp, is the sole qualified bidder in the process to develop a casino resort in Osaka.
He reiterated that the two main partners would bear costs on a 40:40 basis, with a remaining 20 percent likely to be taken up by other Japanese partners. Mr Hornbuckle added that the capital costs would be on the basis of 55 percent debt, with a local requirement for at least 30 percent of investment via equity.
In request-for-proposal documents made public last month, MGM Resorts and Orix indicated their proposed Osaka gaming resort would not open before 2028, and possibly only by 2030.
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