Angela Leong On Kei, an executive director of Macau casino operator SJM Holdings Ltd, says “30 gaming tables will be enough” for the Jai Alai complex – a revamped gaming property in downtown Macau peninsula that is expected to reopen before the end of this year.
The remark, cited by Chinese-language newspaper Macao Daily News, was reportedly made by Ms Leong on the sidelines of a company event on Monday – the opening ceremony of the SJM and Macau SME Business Matching Session.
The newspaper report made no mention of which part of SJM Holdings’ gaming business would supply the tables to the refurbished Jai Alai. The tables originally held by the old Jai Alai were absorbed into the group’s table inventory at the time the property was closed for redevelopment.
Under the Macau government’s table cap policy – which seeks to limit the growth in the number of live-dealer gaming tables in the city to 3 percent, compounded annually, for ten years up to the end of 2022 – brand new casino properties have been allocated some new-to-market tables.
SJM Holdings supplies tables to its directly managed properties, and also to so-called satellite casinos; those managed by third parties but relying on SJM Holdings’ gaming licence. An example is those Macau casinos developed and managed by Macau Legend Development Ltd.
According to an SJM Holdings filing in November 2012, the Jai Alai premises are being leased to the group by an entity controlled by Ms Leong, with, as of that date, the lease due to expire on December 31, 2016.
SJM Holdings’ chief executive Ambrose So Shu Fai had mentioned last month that the renovation of Jai Alai was likely to be finished by October. The chief executive said at the time that he hoped the reopening of the complex could take place by year end.
The extensive revamp of Jai Alai – a venue near Macau’s main ferry terminal on the city’s peninsula – was announced in 2012. But the work was suspended from February 2014 to May 2015, as SJM Holdings said it had been awaiting Macau government approvals.
The new facilities of the Jai Alai complex will include a hotel with approximately 130 rooms, restaurants, and shops, SJM Holdings said in its latest interim report. The new facilities are expected to enhance the business of Casino Jai Alai within the complex, and SJM Holdings’ adjacent mass-market gaming property Casino Oceanus, according to the report.
As at June 30, the firm had entered into capital commitments on the Jai Alai renovation amounting to approximately HKD557 million (US$71.8 million), SJM Holdings said in the interim report.
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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