The head of Macau’s casino regulator says the body has yet to receive a request for the opening of a casino in a revamped building near the Macao Polytechnic Institute in the downtown district of Macau. A sign saying “Royal Dragon Casino” has recently appeared on the building.
“Until now, we have not received any [casino] application for that venue,” Paulo Martins Chan (pictured), director of Macau’s casino regulator Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, told reporters on the sidelines of a Tuesday event.
He added: “Even if such an application is filed, it can only be done via a transfer of gaming tables [from other gaming venues]. There won’t be any new gaming tables granted.”
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.
GGRAsia first reported on the emergence of “Royal Dragon Casino” last week. The property – not currently open to the public – also carried as of Sunday a sign saying “Hotel Royal Dragon”. The dragon logo at the new property appears to be similar to that on the building at nearby casino hotel Golden Dragon, a property run by Golden Dragon Co Ltd.
The casino at Golden Dragon makes use of the gaming licence of Macau casino operator SJM Holdings Ltd. Another venue also run by Golden Dragon Co – Casino Taipa Square – is operated under the licence of Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd.
Golden Dragon Co is chaired by Chan Meng Kam, a veteran Macau businessman. Mr Chan is also chairman of Hotel Royal Dragon (Macao) Co Ltd, the promoter of the new hotel property, according to official records seen by GGRAsia.
GGRAsia contacted Mr Chan several times on the topic but he declined to respond to questions about whether he or his businesses are connected to Royal Dragon Casino.
A sign previously seen on the Royal Dragon Casino building – for local slot parlour brand Mocha Clubs, part of Melco Resorts – was no longer present as of Sunday. It had been replaced by a new sign saying “Royal Dragon”.
Resumption of operations
In his Tuesday comments to reporters, Mr Chan provided an update on the resumption of operations at some gaming venues in Macau shut down due to the impact of Typhoon Hato.
“There are three gaming venues that suspended their operation after the typhoon hit, including a slot club and two casinos. But they will be gradually reopened in the coming days,” said Mr Chan. He did not name the affected properties. These are understood to be casino hotel Legend Palace, casino hotel Broadway Macau and Mocha Inner Harbour – a slot club promoted by Melco Resorts.
Upon an enquiry from GGRAsia, a spokesperson from the casino regulator further clarified that, as of Tuesday, only Mocha Inner Harbour had resumed gaming operations.
The casino and hotel operations at Legend Palace, a waterfront property located at the Macau Fisherman’s Wharf complex on Macau peninsula and operated by casino services firm Macau Legend Development Ltd, were suspended following Typhoon Hato on August 23. The hotel side of the property reopened on September 18. A Tuesday post on the official page of Macau Fisherman’s Wharf in social media network Facebook stated the casino at Legend Palace was to reopen on Wednesday (September 20).
Broadway Macau – a property of Macau casino operator Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd on Cotai – was also temporarily closed in the aftermath of Typhoon Hato. No date has been publicly announced for the reopening of the property’s casino operations.
(Updated at 9.00am, Sept 20)
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