As amendments are in the works for the gaming law of Macau, one satellite operator has plans to shut down gaming properties. Golden Dragon Group, a company operated by Chan Meng Kam, will be shutting down four satellite casinos this year with similar venues also expected to close up shop soon.
Details of the Closures
Reports indicate that the Casino Royal Dragon, Casino Million Dragon, Casino Royal Dragon, and Grand Dragon Casino will be shutting down. The first three operate under a license via SJM Resorts while the third is under Melco Resorts.
With fewer satellite casinos, Macau would offer even less gaming than ever before. The region has been struggling to stay afloat after decades of success. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Macau was forced to implement strict rules and regulations to avoid the virus. Visitor totals are down considerably as well as revenue earnings even today, as the virus remains an issue.
As more venues shut down permanently, it could seriously affect the bottom line of operators in the region as well as the SAR itself. A report by Allin Media, as reported by Inside Asian Gaming, stated that the Golden Dragon Group venue closings along with three casinos operated by Galaxy Entertainment Group.
The Rio, Casino Waldo, and President Casino are expected to shut down. The media service also says that others will follow in the next few months.
Gaming Law Changes Affecting the Satellite Casinos
The reason for the closures stems from discussions of the new gaming law within the Standing Committee of Macau’s Legislative Assembly. The amended law says that concessionaries must offer games of chance in a casino facility only within a location where the real estate is owned. Basically, this would require operators to purchase the properties where the satellites operate to remain in business.
The law does include a grace period of three years for the existing satellite casino agreements if the current concessionaire is able to earn approval for a new concession with the tender process that is to come. With this element of the law added, it seems that it would not be until 2023 before new concessions are made.
At first, the government of Macau had named June 2022 as the expiration date for the current concessions, but that date was extended to December 31, 2022. It does not appear as though the six concessionaires will decide to acquire any of the satellite casinos at this point because they do not have the scale that their current integrated resorts offer.