On April 10, Grand Lisboa Palace, located in Macau’s Cotai district, owned and operated by gaming giant SJM Holdings Ltd., officially opened the foreigner gaming zone.


The zone is found in the Cotai resort in the “Dragon Pavillon” which is the ultimate gaming part of the facility.

Commenting on the opening, specifically the official approval received from the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, the city’s casino regulator, SJM Holdings said in an emailed response: “With the approval of DICJ, the foreigner gaming zone was opened at Casino Grand Lisboa Palace on March 30, 2023.

“It is currently the only foreigner gaming zone set up by SJM.”

Foreign-gambling zone within the property:

Big number of competing companies in the Macau market are known to have opened foreigner-only gambling zones in company properties.

According to site checks and information from sources, it turned out that: Galaxy Macau, the Venetian Macao, Studio City, City of Dreams, MGM Cotai, and MGM Macau, each have a foreigner-only gambling zone. SJM Holdings is the only operator to have confirmed to that it has such a zone in one of its properties.”

Furthermore, according to Macau’s updated gaming regulatory framework, in connection with the latest 10-year concessions that began on January 1: “The city’s chief executive has the authority to reduce by up to 5% points, as a matter of public interest, casino operators’ usual 40 percent tax burden on casino gross gaming revenue (GGR), in the case of GGR generated by players from foreign countries.”

Macau’s goal is for the industry to stop depending on high-stakes gambling by mainland Chinese players.


The opening of the first phase of the Grand Lisboa Palace Resort was held on July 30, 2021, next to the Macau East Asian Games Dome in Cotai, Macau. The HK$39 billion integrated resort has three hotel towers, involving Grand Lisboa Palace Macau, Palazzo Versace Macau, The Karl Lagerfeld, and a total of around 1,900 luxury hotel rooms and suites.

Each of the three towers has its own luxurious spa and part of the spa environment are indoor and outdoor temperature-controlled pools and fitness and wellness programs. Guests will find a variety of dining options throughout the property, involving Michelin-starred restaurants, along with more than 75,000 square feet of luxury retail, 3,300 square feet of meeting and event space and more.

Plans call for 27,000 square meters of gaming floor space (290,000 sq ft) with up to 700 gaming tables and 1,200 electronic gaming machines.

The total approved building area is 521,435 square meters, plus 77,158 square meters of parking and 37,386 square meters of landscaped areas.