Macau-based casino operators Wynn Macau Ltd and MGM China Holdings Ltd are launching a joint shuttle bus route between Macau’s busiest border checkpoint with mainland China, and the companies’ respective downtown casinos on the city’s peninsula.
The move is in “response to the Macau SAR government’s transport integration arrangement,” the two operators said in a joint press release issued by Wynn Macau Ltd on Wednesday. The release did not give details about what such an arrangement involved.
In the past a number of Macau legislators have raised concerns that in their view too many casino shuttle buses – some of them operating below passenger-carrying capacity – were using the city’s roads.
Wynn Macau and MGM China “have joined hands for the first time to launch a joint shuttle bus route connecting passengers between the Border Gate, Wynn Macau and MGM Macau, to optimise the shuttle bus services of both properties,” Wednesday’s joint statement by the operators said.
“After the optimisation, the number of shuttle buses connecting those three locations will be reduced. This not only alleviates the traffic burden on the Macau peninsula, but also effectively integrates the hotel shuttle bus routes,” the release added.
Previously, the firms respectively operated shuttle bus routes between the Border Gate immigration checkpoint (pictured) and their respective casinos in downtown.
Wynn Macau Ltd – a subsidiary of U.S.-based casino operator Wynn Resorts Ltd – owns and operates the Wynn Macau casino hotel located besides the Wynn Macau property. The firm opened on August 22 a second property in the city – Wynn Palace – located in the Cotai district.
MGM China is the owner and operator of the MGM Macau casino resort, also in the downtown area of Macau’s peninsula. The firm – a subsidiary of U.S.-based casino operator MGM Resorts International – is building a casino resort on Cotai, scheduled to open in the second quarter of 2017.
Macau recorded a total of almost 22.9 million visitors arrivals in the first nine months of 2016. More than half of visitors during that period arrived via the Border Gate checkpoint linking Macau to neighbouring Zhuhai in Guangdong province, according to data from the Macau Statistics and Census Service.
The city’s Transport Bureau had said in early March – in a written reply to questions from GGRAsia – that 11 casino shuttle bus routes in Macau had been cut as of that date and 10 routes had been “optimised,” as part of a move to reduce the number of such buses on the city’s roads by 20 percent.
The new joint shuttle bus route became available on Thursday (December 1), with operations running between 9am and 12am daily. “The service frequency will be adjusted based on demand in order to minimise the burden on traffic,” the release stated.
Joint shuttle services by casino operators are not new in Macau. Casino companies Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd, Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd and Sands China Ltd launched in June a collective casino shuttle bus service called ‘Cotai Connection’.
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”It would be at least what we paid in Singapore, US$6 billion including the land, but it could be as much as US$10 billion [to build an integrated resort in Japan]”
Chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands