The chief executive of Macau casino operator SJM Holdings Ltd, Ambrose So Shu Fai (pictured), said the company is planning to apply for “400 to 500” new live gaming tables for the under-construction Grand Lisboa Palace in Cotai. The firm previously had stated it planned to apply for 700 new gaming tables for the property.
Mr So told reporters on Friday that SJM Holdings would file an application for the new tables once construction of the Cotai project was nearing completion.
Grand Lisboa Palace is scheduled for completion “around the end of 2017”, the company stated in a filing earlier this month.
The management of SJM Holdings had said – at a ground breaking ceremony in February 2014 – that it hoped to have up to 700 gaming tables and over 1,200 slot machines at Grand Lisboa Palace.
Under the arithmetic of the Macau government’s gaming table cap, several investment analysts covering the gaming sector expect that the four upcoming casino resorts in Cotai will each receive 250 new live gaming tables.
Upcoming major schemes still to launch in Cotai include: Wynn Palace from Wynn Macau Ltd; Parisian Macao from Sands China Ltd; MGM Cotai from MGM China Holdings Ltd; and Grand Lisboa Palace.
The two big new Cotai resorts that opened last year each received the same size of table allocation – 250 new-to-market units.
Studio City, a US$3.2-billion Cotai gaming resort majority-owned by Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd, had made a great play of its non-gaming facilities in the run-up to its opening on October 27 as an argument for receiving at least 400 tables. In the end it got the same allocation as the HKD19.6-billion (US$2.5 billion) Galaxy Macau Phase 2 which opened on May 27. It is an extension of Galaxy Macau, a resort developed by Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd.
Mr So said on Friday that SJM Holdings would wait for the government’s table allocation for Grand Lisboa Palace before looking into the possibility of shifting tables from some of its other Macau casinos to the Cotai property. The latter scenario would be in case SJM Holdings did not receive enough new gaming tables for Grand Lisboa Palace.
The SJM Holdings chief executive told reporters that it was still “hard to predict” whether the Grand Lisboa Palace project would face any construction delays. He said the project so far was progressing as scheduled.
Upon completion, the Grand Lisboa Palace will cover a total gross floor area of 521,435 square metres plus 77,158 square metres of parking area. More than 90 percent of the total area will be devoted to non-gaming facilities, including three hotels: the Grand Lisboa Palace Hotel (over 1,450 rooms), Palazzo Versace Macau (around 270 rooms), and a Karl Lagerfeld-branded luxury hotel (also around 270 rooms).
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Daisy Ho Chiu Fung
Chairman of casino operator SJM Holdings Ltd