After announcing in July that it wanted to bring VIP gaming tables to its Studio City Casino Macau property, Melco Crown Entertainment Limited has now revealed that such high-roller operations at the Cotai Strip venue could start before the end of the month.
Studio City Casino Macau opened in October without VIP gaming facilities, which was described at the time as a “business decision” by Lawrence Ho Yau Lung, Chief Executive Officer for Melco Crown Entertainment Limited, as the property was designed to instead feature some 250 new-to-market mass-market tables. But, subsequent months have seen the premier of new properties including the Wynn Palace Cotai while some analysts have asserted that the venue had been underperforming in terms of revenues per table when compared with its similarly-sized competitors.
“We have one to two [junket operator] partners plus our own in-house VIP play,” said Ted Chan Ying Tat, Chief Operating Officer for Melco Crown Entertainment Limited. “The VIP play facilities will be opened all at the same time. Hopefully, the VIP facilities will be opened this month.”
Last month saw Chan declare that Melco Crown Entertainment Limited anticipated offering some 30 VIP tables at Studio City Casino Macau but he revealed on Tuesday that the company had not yet made a decision on whether to re-designate some of the mass-market tables already in operation or relocate existing high-roller tables from other parts of its local estate.
“That we have not decided internally,” said Chan. “We’ve confirmed [operations] with the [junket] partners but we still have to discuss [the allocation of] tables. The renovation has been pretty much finished. We are ready any time in the sense that after all this [discussion] settles the government will have no problem in approving [the VIP tables].”
Melco Crown Entertainment Limited holds a 60% stake in Studio City Casino Macau and must share any profits from its tables with 40% partner New Cotai, which is controlled by American investment firms Silver Point Capital and Oaktree Capital Management.
“Consistent with our approach of maximizing profitability through yield management, we are in the process of setting up rolling chip operations at Studio City Casino Macau including both junket and premium direct VIP offerings,” said Ho last month.