Macau casino operator SJM Holdings Ltd. (hk:0880) said Thursday that their Grand Lisboa Palace casino is set to open in the second quarter of next year, which will coincide with the opening of the new Hong Kong- Zhuhai-Macau Bridge. Ambrose So Shu Fai, chief executive of SJM told reporters after a scheduled news conference in Hong Kong yesterday that he expects the casino to house more than five hundred gaming tables, according the Hong Kong Standard. No operator in recent years has been able to get such an allocation of new tables from the government, indicating great optimism or the possibility of moving tables from other SJM properties in the SAR.
“We always hope for 500 to 600 gaming tables. And of course we’ll have to see [what] the government policy [is] by then, and how many tables it will give,” Mr. So told reporters at the meeting.
The operator had initially said they would seek as many as 700 tables for the new luxury property, along with 1,200 slot machines. Analysts estimate no more than 250 new to market tables, and some predict an initial allotment of only 200 for any new property.
In related news, GGRAsia also reports that mainland China’s Thursday launch of the Shanghai Disney Resort theme park will not have a significant effect on Macau casinos, citing a recent research report by Morgan Stanley’s AlphaWise, and statements made by Mr. So Thursday.
Casino Oceanus, an SJM property currently under refurbishments is expected to open the last quarter of 2016.
The Grand Lisboa (not to be confused with the upcoming Grand Lisboa Palace) has an occupancy rate of 90 percent and is not expected to cut hotel rates more than the 10 per cent already discounted in the slow economy. The Standard reports that Mr. So said that due to the economy, Wynn Palace and the Parisian, bit set to open soon, would not likely have a large effect on the operator’s revenues in Macau. SJM reportedly now has a near equal mix of VIP and mass gaming tables after reducing their VIP table numbers by as much as 40 percent since the downturn began two years ago.