Macau casino operator SJM Holdings Ltd is to review its work procedures to try to salvage its timetable for opening Grand Lisboa Palace (pictured), its under-construction Cotai resort, says the firm’s chief executive.
The HKD36-billion (US$4.63-billion) project is currently in the sixth week of a government-ordered shutdown, following the death of a worker from mainland China on June 18.
Ambrose So Shu Fai, the firm’s CEO, told local media on Wednesday that his firm is applying for government permission to resume work.
“As of today, it is already five [complete] weeks of suspension of works,” said the CEO.
In May this year Mr So had forecast to media that the Cotai project would open in the second half of 2018, rather than the previously-announced first half of 2018.
When asked by GGRAsia on Wednesday whether the work suspension would affect the firm’s ability to meet the new deadline, Mr So answered: “This I couldn’t tell yet, because we have to review whether we can do some changes to our work procedures in a bid to strive to save more time. But to what extent that can help push the project we still need to assess.”
When quizzed regarding the date for resumption of construction work, the SJM Holdings executive noted that it would be “subject to the review and comments from the Labour Affairs Bureau”.
Mr So also mentioned there was the “intention” to create a footbridge between Wynn Palace, Grand Lisboa Palace and the under-construction MGM Cotai to allow pedestrian access to the three properties. He didn’t mention who would pay for it.
Grand Lisboa Palace will feature “a total of approximately 2,000 hotel rooms and suites, facilities for meetings and conferences, shopping, dining and entertainment, and a casino”, according to SJM Holdings’ 2016 annual report filed in late April. The new Cotai project includes three hotel towers with the respective brandings “Grand Lisboa Palace”, “Palazzo Versace” and “Karl Lagerfeld”.
Mr So was speaking to media on the sidelines of the opening ceremony on Wednesday for the Macau Roosevelt Hotel, a casino hotel in the Taipa district. The property relies on the gaming licence of SJM Holdings, and has 368 guest rooms. The casino inside the hotel is effectively a “relocation” of Casino Macau Jockey Club, according to previous comments from the local regulator, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau. The new casino hosts a total of 30 gaming tables – all for baccarat games, Mr So confirmed to GGRAsia.
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”We expect Goa to quickly become a US$1 billion market as it transitions to land-based casinos (from US$150 million today), which is still just a fraction of India’s total GGR potential of US$10 billion to US$17 billion”
Analyst at Union Gaming Securities Asia