Macau gaming operator Sands China Ltd stated on Wednesday that they have formed an exclusive partnership with a large Chimelong non-gaming resort on Hengqin Island, based in mainland China. Together these two companies will offer unique two centre holiday packages.
Chinese Casino development is entering what is described as an interim development period. Mr Li Gang, the head representative of Beijing in Macau, said that this development will contribute to the future growth and stability of the city’s casino commerce. Macau is getting tight on space and need more land area for spill over.
This follows a period of ten years of rapid development in Macau’s gaming industry, and most recently an 8-month period of decline in casino visitors. Reasons for the decline can be attributed to economic factors and some government actions which includes tighter enforcements and restrictions on transit visa rules, and refusal to expand China UnionPay facilities. Several high-rollers have also refrained from visiting Macau casinos after President Xi Junping started his anti-corruption campaign.
Representatives have been looking at Hengqin Island to solve Macau’s space issue, an island that separates it from the mainland. The island is able to offer just as much as Macau, but without the gambling. In 2009, China announced extensive development plans for the island, including amenities that are lacking in Macau.
Chimelong and China Sands’ International Ocean Resort is helping the project to gain momentum. This resort will only be a 10-minute drive from Macau and feature a man-made beach as well as an exciting theme park. It will be the biggest resort in China and is due to open in the latter part of 2015.
Although gamers won’t find Hengqin the same as Macau, due to lack of gambling, it will provide a better option for those who wish to spend more time in Macau (and therefore spend more money.) Instead of passing through two border checkpoints, visitors would only have to go through Macau immigration every time they wish to visit the casino.