Having sent out a media invitation on Feb. 6, MGM Resorts International Holdings, Ltd, parent company to MGM China Holdings Ltd (2282:Hong Kong), on Tuesday held the grand opening for its HKD27-billion (US$3.45-billion) MGM Cotai in advance of the Chinese New Year holiday. The important festival falls on Friday, February 16 this year and during the period the casino market in Macau typically sees a spike in gambling.
Situated in the Chinese-controlled territory of Macau, the Cotai property, the second for MGM and its largest investment in Macau to date, will bring the company’s overall gaming table count in what is the world’s biggest gaming hub, to 552, an increase of 29 percent.
The new resort on the family-friendly Cotai strip will also raise the number of MGM’s hotel rooms in Macau to 1,972, more than tripling the previous count, marking significant growth into hospitality amid uncertainty regarding the renewal process of the company’s casino license that expires in two years, according to the Reuters report.
Among the last of the operators to develop on the Coati strip, MGM’s second investment in Macau follows Wynn Resorts Ltd.’s Wynn Palace and Las Vegas Sands Corp.’s Parisian and boasts artwork which includes 28 carpets from the Qing dynasty and a 2,000-seat theatre.
Operated by the company’s Macau arm MGM China Holdings, MGM Cotai will reportedly open with approximately 177 mass gaming tables and 200 electronic table games (ETGS), according to analysts, with mostly middlemen set to handle VIP gaming junkets slated to open by the end of Q2 along with the property’s luxury mansion villas, according to Reuters.
Having broken ground in February 2013, fully 85 percent of the 3 million square foot development will be dedicated to non-gaming attractions.
MGM is one of a half dozen licensed casino operators in the autonomous region on the south coast of China, which is the only place in the country where citizens are permitted to gamble legally. However, along with SJM Holdings, MGM’s license is expected to expire in 2020, while licenses for Wynn Macau, Sands China, Melco Resorts and Galaxy Entertainment are due to expire in the year 2022.