Success Universe Group, the investor and operator of Macau’s Ponte 16 casino, revealed on June 9th that it’s currently in the midst of discussions with the government about its future expansion plans, which will also involve a floating casino.
Refurbishment of accessible floating casino:
There is already one and only floating casino in Macau, the so-called Casino Macau Palace, but apart from being used as a location for filming and other promotional stuff, it is mostly neglected as it has been decommissioned. It was a barge casino docked next to the Macau Ferry Terminal and was managed by Sociedade de Turismo e Diversões de Macau (STDM), SJM’s parent company. Additionally, the casino operated between 1995 and 2007 and has since been moved to a section of the Inner Harbor near Fai Chi Kei.
However, looking at the estimates for Success Universe’s expansion, refurbishing the existing floating casino is more likely than building a brand new venue. After the refurbishment is completed, the Macau Palace will no longer be a casino, but will offer restaurant and retail services and a museum of gaming culture. In this regard, Hoffman Ma, the deputy chairman of Success Universe Group, told media that “he expects the group’s next expansion plans to cost over HKD100 million ($12.8 million), and the company will discuss financing with banks.” But, SJM’s President Daisy Ho formerly said that “the group was going to redevelop the floating palace into a museum-like entertainment attraction, equipped with F&B,” contradicting Ma’s statements.
Goals for this year:
Referring to the projected goals for this year, Hoffman Ma emphasizes that “Macau has already achieved half of the government GGR target of MOP130 billion ($16.2 billion) in the January to May period, and that visitation is already approaching 2019 levels.” Ma also emphasizes that “the labor shortage is easing due the addition of more non-resident workers.” Under these circumstances, the executive is forecasting quarterly gross gaming revenue growth of 10% in the second quarter, which ends June 30. What’s more, Macau’s casino GGR was MOP65 billion, which is approximately 8.06 billion US dollars, for the five months to May 31, up 173% year-on-year. The calculation for the first four months of 2023 has already surpassed the total GGR for last year.
As for Ponte 16, it has seen a powerful recovery in day-to-day operations so far this year, with Ma unveiling that “the hotel occupancy rate and average price have recovered to 85 percent of 2019 levels.” He also added that “Ponte 16 does not yet have plans to restart its VIP operations.”
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