Macau’s six existing gaming operators have welcomed the government’s decision to award them all a new ten-year concession.
The seventh bidder, Malaysia’s Genting Group, was unsuccessful in its attempts to enter the market.
In media statements following the award, the operators all expressed confidence in Macau’s future, despite the ongoing zero-Covid policies, which have had a severe impact on operations.
“Our commitment to Macau has never wavered and we are honoured to continue the partnership we began with the government and people of Macao 20 years ago,” Sands China CEO Rob Goldstein said. “In the coming decade and beyond, we will remain steadfast in our strategy of continuous investment in Macau – in its economy, its people and its community. Macao’s future as an international tourism destination remains bright and we look forward to furthering our leadership role in helping it reach its full potential.”
Sands China’s tender submission in September highlighted the company’s unprecedented level of investment in Macau, particularly in the area of non-gaming tourism amenities and attractions. It also detailed Sands China’s plans to help broaden the appeal of Macao as an international tourist destination.
Diversifying Macau tourism base
MGM China had a similar message, saying it will develop the city’s non-gaming industry and will make vigorous efforts to expand tourism arrivals from other countries outside of China.
This factor is one of the government’s key strategies as Beijing increasingly seeks to prevent its nationals from travelling overseas to gamble.
SJM Holdings, which held the monopoly in Macau before the market was opened 20 years ago, said it was also confident in the long-term prospects and it looks forward to contributing to the sustainable development of the local economy in the coming decade.
The awards are provisional, with the final documentation expected to be completed by Jan. 1st, when the new concessions come into force.
Melco Resorts & Entertainment CEO praised the Macau government for running a smooth and transparent process. “We are committed to Macau and its development as Asia’s premier tourist destination.”
Stocks in all six operators were sharply higher on Monday on news of the awards, with Wynn Macau gaining the most with a 15 percent increase in Hong Kong trading. MGM China was up 13 percent, while Sands China added 8.4 percent.
Galaxy Entertainment, Melco International Development and SJM Holdings all posted significant gains.
The loser in the process was Genting Malaysia, which put in a surprise bid for a license in September. It was the group’s second attempt after losing out on the bidding the first time around.