VIP gaming facilities at casino resort Studio City will start operations on November 5, said Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. The casino operator has a 60-percent equity interest in Studio City (pictured).
“We shall start our in-house VIP business on November 5, while the confirmed junket operators Suncity and Tak Chun will open doors on November 8,” a Melco Crown spokesperson said in an email reply to GGRAsia.
Macau junket operators Suncity Group and Tak Chun Group had each confirmed separately to GGRAsia that their VIP gaming clubs at Studio City would start operations on November 8.
The two junket operators did not disclose details regarding the number of gaming tables that each firm would be managing at the property.
Melco Crown confirmed in Tuesday’s email that it will be allocating a total of 33 tables for VIP gaming at Studio City. The firm did not disclose from where it would be transferring the tables.
The company had previously said that two-thirds of VIP gaming tables would be allotted to the two junket operators, while one-third would be for the company’s premium direct – a term referred to VIP business directly managed by the casino.
At the time of Studio City’s opening on October 27 last year, Melco Crown’s chief executive, Lawrence Ho Yau Lung, had said not having VIP gaming there was a “business decision”, driven mainly by the size of the gaming property’s new-to-market allocation of 250 tables from the Macau government.
Mr Ho however confirmed on a conference call with analysts in August that the company was in the process of setting up VIP gaming facilities at Studio City, in a bid to maximise profitability.
Melco Crown must share the economic value of the gaming tables at Studio City with its 40-percent partner, New Cotai LLC, an entity controlled by United States-based investment firms Silver Point Capital LP and Oaktree Capital Management LP. Melco Crown has a 100-percent equity interest in its other Macau resorts: City of Dreams Macau and Altira Macau.
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Macau’s total VIP gross gaming revenue in the first quarter of 2021