In an email reply to industry news agency GGRAsia, a spokesperson for Melco Crown said, “We shall start our in-house VIP business on November 5, while the confirmed junket operators Suncity and Tak Chun will open doors on November 8.”
According to the news agency, both Macau junket operators, Tak Chun Group and Suncity Group, each confirmed separately that VIP operations would begin at the resort casino located on Cotai, Macau on November 8. Neither Suncity nor Tak Chun, however, disclosed any details regarding the number of gaming tables either of the firms would manage at the property.
In Tuesday’s email to the news agency, Melco Crown confirmed its plans to allocate a total of 33 tables for VIP gaming at Studio City. Previously, Melco indicated that two-thirds of VIP tables would be allotted to the junket operators, while the company’s premium direct would receive one-third.
Melco Crown opened Studio City to the public on October 27, 2015 and at that time Lawrence Ho, the company’s CEO said that the decision to open without VIP gaming was a “business decision,” which was predominantly driven by Studio City’s new-to-market allocation of 250 gaming tables it received from the government of Macau. However, in August, on a conference call with analysts, Ho confirmed that in an effort to maximize profitability Melco was in the process of establishing VIP gaming facilities at the Cotai casino.
While a majority holder in Studio City, Melco Crown must share profits from the Macau casino with New Cotai LLC, which has a 40 percent interest in the property and is controlled by U.S. investment firms Oaktree Capital Management LP and Silver Point Capital LP.