Macau gaming operator Wynn Macau Ltd has yet to request from the local casino regulator the 25 new-to-market live-dealer gaming tables to which it was entitled for its Wynn Palace resort (pictured) as of January 1 under the Macau government’s table cap.
The news was given in an emailed reply from the local regulator, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau – also known by its Portuguese acronym DICJ – following an inquiry from GGRAsia.
Venetian Macau Ltd, the entity holding the Macau gaming licence on behalf Sands China Ltd, has requested and been granted the 25 new-to-market tables to which it was also entitled as of January 1 under the cap, added the regulator.
“Wynn still has the quota to add new tables to Wynn Palace in 2017 but has not yet sent us the request, while the Venetian [Macau Ltd] did sent the application for the Parisian [Macao] and the gaming tables were granted by us already,” said the gaming bureau in a Monday email.
Shortly before the US$4.4-billion Wynn Palace opened on August 22 last year, Macau’s Secretary for Economy and Finance, Lionel Leong Vai Tac, said the property was to receive under the cap 150 new-to-market live gaming tables; 100 of them in time for its launch.
The government official also said that Wynn Macau would be granted an additional 50 new-to-market tables in two separate phases: 25 tables on January 1, 2017; and the remaining 25 on January 1, 2018.
The same-size new-to-market table allocation was granted to the US$2.7-billion Parisian Macao: 150, with 100 for its opening on September 13 last year and 50 in two equal tranches on, respectively January 1, 2017 and January 1, 2018.
The Macau government’s table cap policy, effective since 2013, is designed to limit compound annual growth in the number of new live gaming tables in the city’s casino market to 3 percent over a 10-year period, until December 2022.
Investment analysts have said the policy was conceived as a measure to cool the growth of the Macau gambling market’s gross gaming revenue. Since it was instituted, other cooling factors have come into play that have reduced market demand for new tables – a demand that had previously stimulated Macau casino top-line earnings, a number of analysts have noted. Those moderating factors are said to include mainland China’s anti-corruption campaign, which has reportedly reduced the flow of money from the mainland to Macau for high-stakes gambling.
In a November memo, investment research firm Morningstar Inc said Wynn Palace was likely to reap significant operational benefits from a revamp of its main floor, using the table inventory available to it at that time.
As of the end of the third quarter 2016 – the most recent available data from the gaming bureau – there were 6,304 live-dealer tables in the Macau market.
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”They want us to invest as well. The government there wants to see growth in Macau. We are not that concerned about that issue [licence renewal] at all”
Chairman and chief executive of Las Vegas Sands