There is no schedule yet for the launch of a planned 900-room hotel tower at the MGM Cotai casino resort, the chief executive of MGM China Holdings Ltd, Grant Bowie, told GGRAsia.
“We are saying that [construction start] is some time in the next three years,” said Mr Bowie (pictured in a file photo).
He stated the timeline for the new tower would be dependent both of market demand and government approvals.
The current Macau casino licence of MGM China expires in 2020.
Mr Bowie’s comments were made on Tuesday on the sidelines of the opening ceremony of Global Gaming Expo (G2E) Asia, a three-day trade exhibition and conference taking place in Macau until Thursday.
During an analyst and investor day hosted last week by MGM China’s parent MGM Resorts International, Mr Bowie had said the group had already built the foundation for a “new additional hotel tower of approximately 900 rooms” at the Cotai property.
The US$3.4-billion MGM Cotai, the firm’s second property in Macau, opened on February 13. The property features 1,390 rooms.
MGM China also operates casino hotel MGM Macau, located on the Macau peninsula.
The new hotel tower at MGM Cotai “has always been part of the development,” Mr Bowie told GGRAsia on Tuesday. “When we first announced the project, nearly six years ago, we actually indicated even at that point in time that we would built future expansion into it.”
He added the plans included not only the hotel tower “but also the opportunity to expand other leisure and non-gaming facilities, at a time when we feel the market is ready for it and that we have determined what is the proper configuration that we will do.”
The executive noted that MGM China was “committed to continue to develop, grow and expand” its presence in Macau. But he stressed that offering diversification was “not building all things: it is building the right things, and that is what we are focused on.”
Mr Bowie stated that the current focus of MGM China was on making sure MGM Cotai met its performance targets. “When that is achieved, the expansion opportunities will follow,” he said.
The MGM China CEO pointed out that some products included in MGM Cotai’s phase one were still to be launched later this year. That included additional luxury accommodation under the “Mansion” branding and resident show “Destiny”, the later schedule to premiere in September.
MGM China also previously confirmed that it expects the opening of the first junket rooms at MGM Cotai to take place prior to October’s “Golden Week”. That is considered a peak period for the Macau casino market, connected to a weeklong break in mainland China associated with the country’s national day on October 1.
Mr Bowie said on Tuesday that MGM China was “pretty happy” with the performance of MGM Cotai so far. “The guest response has been very positive,” he said. “We all understand there is a ramping up period and we need to work on that,” added the executive.
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”I would expect that there might be some clearly-defined criteria … and I’m supportive of a more clearly-defined roadmap for the [gaming] industry”
Co-chairperson and executive director of Macau casino operator MGM China