Macau’s government has extended gaming concessions for two casino operators to align expiry dates with the four other concessionaires, according to Macau Information Bureau.
Sociedade de Jogos de Macau (SJM) and MGM China’s gaming concessions have been extended for two years to mid-2022, in line with Galaxy Entertainment, Sands China, Wynn Macau and Melco.
The government said the move was designed to maintain “social stability and job security”.
SJM is controlled by the family of gaming tycoon Stanley Ho. MGM China is majority-owned by US casino operators MGM Resorts and is co-chaired by Pansy Ho, Stanley Ho’s daughter. The two companies’ concessions were set to expire in March 2020.
SJM and MGM will each have to pay an additional payment of US$25 million (200 million patacas) for the extension
The Macau government did not give any further details on the the casino licence bidding process ahead of the 2022 expiry dates.
Casino licenses were first awarded in a complex process in the early 2000s, resulting in a slew of legal battles with some still unresolved. The process remains controversial because little is publicly known about how the winners were chosen.
Initially concessions were given to Wynn, a Galaxy-Sands team and SJM. After Galaxy and Sands failed to reach an operational agreement, they split up with the government awarding Sands a subconcession license. This paved the way for Melco and MGM to receive subconcessions.
SJM Holdings has several third party casino operators under its license which run independent properties.
Gambling gross revenue in Macau rose 4.4 percent in February, to MOP 25.37 billion (US$ 3.14 billion), compared with same period last year.
2018 February revenue was MOP$ 24.300 (US$ 3 billion).
Gross revenue in January and February slipped 0,5% to MOP 50.31 billion (USD 6.28 billion), after having fell 5,0% in January, the first drop in more than two years.
Revenue in January 2019 was MOP$ 26.260 (US$ 3.2), which compares with MOP$ 24.942 (US$ 3.11in January 2018).
Revenue for the full year of 2018 was 302.85 billion patacas (US$ 37.6 billion).
Gambling revenue in Macau rose 14 percent in 2018 compared with 2017, the second consecutive year of gain.
Macau’s six gaming and gambling concession holders had 41 casinos at the end of 2018, of which 22 were owned by Sociedade de Jogos de Macau, six by Galaxy Casino, five by Venetian Macau, four by Melco Crown (Macau), two by Wynn Resorts, and two by MGM Grand Paradise, with 6,586 gaming tables and 17,296 slot machines.
Two of the Sociedade de Jogos de Macau’s casinos – Macau Palace and Greek Mythology – are provisionally suspended.(Macaunews)