Macau-based casino operator SJM Holdings Ltd has requested to relocate the casino inside the Macau Jockey Club complex, the city’s gaming regulator told GGRAsia.
SJM Holdings is eyeing to move the casino from the grandstands of the Macau Jockey Club horse track to the soon-to-open Macau Roosevelt hotel, also located on the grounds of the Macau Jockey Club complex, according to a spokesperson from Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau – also known by its Portuguese acronym DICJ.
“The DICJ has already received [an] application from gaming concessionaire SJM which requested to relocate the Casino Macau Jockey Club to the Roosevelt hotel location,” the spokesperson told GGRAsia on Monday.
The person added: “Currently, the application is still under processing… no final decision has been made yet.”
The Macau Jockey Club is part of the business empire of casino tycoon Stanley Ho Hung Sun. Mr Ho is also the founder of SJM Holdings.
GGRAsia asked SJM Holdings about the plans to relocate the Macau Jockey Club casino. No reply had been received by the time this story went online.
In a note issued on Monday morning, brokerage Union Gaming Securities Asia Ltd noted the installation of exterior signage at the Roosevelt hotel mentioning a casino in the property, called “Macau Jockey Club Casino”.
“We believe the new casino at Roosevelt is significantly larger in size than its predecessor and will have a much greater focus on table games. We estimate it could have 25 to 35 tables and around 100 slots,” analyst Grant Govertsen wrote.
He added: “We believe it will remain a service provider casino.”
Service-provider managed casinos in Macau – also known as third-party managed or satellite casinos – have to piggyback on the licence of one of the city’s official casino concessionaires.
The Macau Jockey Club casino – which had been closed since 2004 but was reopened in May 2014 – was previously managed by Hong Kong-listed Paradise Entertainment Ltd. But since January, Paradise Entertainment has only a revenue sharing agreement for live table game machines at the site, the firm confirmed in a March filing.
“No announcement has been made on what entity will be the service provider,” Mr Govertsen wrote in his Monday memo. “We would not be surprised if the new casino at Roosevelt were to have a unique junket focus (junket insiders have been publicly talking about gaming there for some time now), or go after a particular customer niche that is currently unaddressed (e.g. targeting customers from a non-Chinese geography).”
The Roosevelt hotel was initially scheduled to open in the first half of 2016. It is located near Cotai, Macau’s answer to the Las Vegas Strip, where there are already several major casino resorts in operation and several more under construction.
The original project, announced in 2013 with a price tag of US$350-million, included an area with more than 5,000 square metres (53,820 sq feet) for gaming operations, according to media reports. But a representative from Macau development company Yoho Group Ltd in July 2015 told reporters that the firm had reconsidered its original plans and the venue would not feature gaming facilities.
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"We’ll still look into it [acquisition of more Macau casino hotels] when there are any suitable opportunities"
Chairman of casino management service provider Paradise Entertainment