Asian casino developer and operator Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd has confirmed to GGRAsia that construction work at Morpheus (pictured) – the US$1-billion fifth hotel tower being built at casino resort City of Dreams Macau – resumed on July 28.
The Macau government had ordered suspension of construction work at the Morpheus site following a fatal accident on July 14. A 33-year-old worker from mainland China died after being hit by a steel beam at the site on that day, according to local media reports.
Melco Resorts’ chairman and chief executive Lawrence Ho Yau Lung had mentioned on July 27 – in an earnings call with analysts following the company’s second-quarter results announcement – that the timetable for opening Morpheus had been unaffected by the suspension. He added at the time that the group hoped to open the new hotel – which he said would have space to accommodate up to 50 gaming tables – in the “first quarter or second quarter next year”.
The Morpheus tower was designed to cater for the firm’s “best in-house customers”, Mr Ho said during the earnings call, clarifying that this was so-called premium mass players – customers that bet in high multiples, but in cash rather than via the credit-funded play of traditional VIPs.
Investor services firm Morningstar Inc says it expects Morpheus to “take share from other premium mass properties” in Macau once it opens.
“As the smoking ban comes into effect in 2019, we expect City of Dreams’ premium mass play will take a hit, but we are confident it will be offset by the contribution from Morpheus starting in the first half of 2018,” Morningstar analyst Chelsey Tam wrote in a note issued on Monday.
The Morpheus tower stands 160 metres (525 feet) high, and will feature approximately 780 guest rooms along with suites, “sky villas” and duplex villas, according to information previously disclosed by Melco Resorts. A novel feature of the new hotel will be high-speed observation lifts up and down the atrium, offering views to the interior architecture.
The hotel tower was designed by the late Zaha Hadid, an award-winning architect. Dame Zaha also designed the aquatic sports centre for the London 2012 Olympics, and the Guangzhou Opera House in mainland China’s Guangdong Province.
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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