Although Stephen Hung has already poured more than a billion dollars into The 13, his all-suite hotel on the Coloane/Cotai border may not offer any gambling games when it opens this summer. Cotai is ‘newly’ reclaimed land on Seac Pai Bay between the Taipa and Coloane islands in Macau, China. Local news outlet, GGRAsia is reporting they have received a response from Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (the DICJ) stating that no requests have been made for a casino in Coloane. Previous filings by the Hong Kong listed company stated that they intended to include a 66 table offering at the luxury property first known as Louis XIII and now simply, The 13.
However, The 13 has not been specifically barred from pursuing casino gaming. On July 14, 2015, Lionel Leong Vai Tac, the Secretary of Economy and Finance in Macau said that existing legislation places no restrictions on casinos being built in Coloane. He also added that the government had not received any request as of then either, and that they would ‘listen to the people’ before deciding whether to allow casinos on the only casino-free area in the district.
The Macau government has placed a 3% cap on new to market gaming tables in the special administrative district which offers the only legal gambling in China. That cap will remain in effect until 2022, when the last of the six gaming concessions on the island has expired. Only current concessions may apply for casino gaming, so The 13 would need to pull tables from elsewhere in order to offer gambling.
Mr. Hung is also vice-chairman of the Rio Entertainment Group, operators of the Rio Hotel & Casino in Macau, but even that gaming license is through concessionaire Galaxy Entertainment who currently run only 90 tables at the Rio. Galaxy Phase 2 and The Broadway opened in May with only 150 tables, with two more tranches of 50 each added later. No new casino is expected to receive more than 250 new to market tables before the cap expires. Many of the projects under development, including The 13 and Wynn Palace got off the ground before anyone knew just how strictly the government would adhere to its table cap.
In addition to 200 suites or “villas” being opened at an average cost of $7 million each, The 13 received the keys to 30 Extended Wheelbase Rolls-Royce Phantoms at the 2016 Geneva International Motor Show on March 2 at a cost of around $20 million indicating the Hong Kong tycoon has no plans to back away from offering his guests the utmost in luxury accommodations and amenities, with or without a casino on site. Some rooms will go for about $130,000 per night and all jewelry at the invitation only L’Atelier will cost more than $1 million.