In Macau and the boss for local casino operator, SJM Holdings Limited, has reportedly stated that he expects his firm’s under-construction Grand Lisboa Palace to begin welcoming players and guests ‘by the second half of 2020.’
According to a report from GGRAsia, the declaration from the Hong Kong-listed behemoth’s Chief Executive Officer, Ambrose So Shu Fai, was accompanied by a revelation that he does not anticipate all of the coming $5 billion venue’s retail space to have been leased at the time of opening.
SJM Holdings Limited is responsible for some 20 casinos spread across Macau including the iconic Casino Grand Lisboa alongside the newer Emperor Palace Casino. It began work on the 2,000-room Grand Lisboa Palace in February of 2014 and earlier explained that the finished Cotai Strip property is to feature a trio of five-star hotels branded under the Grand Lisboa Palace, Palazzo Versace and Karl Lagerfeld monikers alongside conference facilities and a range of shops and restaurants.
So reportedly told GGRAsia…
“It could have a partial launch by the second half of 2020. By then, not all of the shops would be leased out in time but the hotel rooms should be all launched with the casino and some of the shops.”
SJM is reportedly hoping that the finished Grand Lisboa Palace will be able to compete with nearby rival integrated casino resorts such as the $2.4 billion The Venetian Macao from Sands China Limited as well as Melco Resorts and Entertainment Limited’s $3.2 billion Studio City Macau and help the operator to boost its gaming business. Regarding the year so far, So proclaimed that his firm is facing multiple economic headwinds including those created by the ongoing political protests in Hong Kong and the continuing trade war between China and the United States.
“I hope that this can [be] as level as last year. We at SJM [Holdings Limited] hope that our local gaming earnings will not be less than before.”
The executive reportedly described his firm’s gaming revenues during the week-long Golden Week national holiday as ‘a bit worse than expected’ despite posting hotel room occupancy rates well in excess of 90% in advance of noting that its VIP business was ‘not doing well.’
“We thought more traffic would bring better income but it was not really the case. We saw good foot traffic at our properties but business at casinos is so-so.”