In Macau and local casino operator SJM Holdings Limited has reportedly announced that it believes the city’s upcoming tendering process will most probably see successful candidates awarded with new ten-year licenses.
According to a report from Inside Asian Gaming, the firm made the prediction to the Hong Kong-headquartered branch of financial services giant Goldman Sachs Group Incorporated after the government of Macau last week put draft proposals concerning its future gaming market out for public consultation. The source detailed that the operator is moreover said to have forecast that every one of the enclave’s six-strong club of existing concessionaires will likely to have their local casino licenses renewed via a process taking place early next year.
SJM Holdings Limited reportedly is responsible for some 20 gambling-friendly venues in the former Portuguese territory including the iconic Casino Grand Lisboa property and the recently-premiered Grand Lisboa Palace facility. However, the company’s existing 20-year casino license as well as those granted to local rivals Sands China Limited, MGM China Holdings Limited, Melco Resorts and Entertainment Limited, Galaxy Entertainment Group Limited and Wynn Macau Limited are purportedly due to expire at the end of June.
Goldman Sachs Group Incorporated reportedly declared that SJM Holdings Limited is also currently comfortable with how the new Macau casino licenses are to be issued despite the shorter ten-year validity period now looking like ‘a reasonable estimate’. The investments specialist purportedly furthermore disclosed that the draft proposals have created some investor concern although more will likely be known following the conclusion of the propositions’ 45-day consultation period on October 29.
Inside Asian Gaming reported that Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau regulator held face-to-face meetings with local junket and casino representatives on Monday in order to address some of their concerns. The source explained that this watchdog is now planning to organize further such consultations over the course of the next few months in an attempt to allay fears associated with the recently-produced draft regulations.
Nevertheless, SJM Holdings Limited reportedly told Goldman Sachs Group Incorporated that it remains committed to the Macau casino market and is not currently looking at the possibility of merging with another local operator or purchasing a rival outright.
Alongside the reduced license terms, the draft Macau regulations are also reportedly looking to oblige licensed casino operators to hold more ready capital and have an increased local presence on their boards. These requirements could purportedly be joined by a rule that would compel such firms to host representatives from the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau on their gaming floors and receive the regulator’s approval before being permitted to issue dividends.