MGM China Holdings, subsidiary of Las Vegas casino giant MGM Resorts International, said in a Thursday filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange that it would delay the opening of MGM Cotai for a fourth time.
The $3.4-billion integrated resort, MGM’s first on the Cotai Strip, was supposed to open doors for visitors on January 29 and to host its grand opening on February 13, which is ahead of the Chinese New Year. In today’s filing, the casino company said that the property will be opened in February, although no specific date was provided. There was also no mention of the February 13 grand opening ceremony.
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MGM China currently operates MGM Macau, a hotel and casino resort in downtown Macau. As mentioned earlier, MGM Cotai will be its first property on the Cotai Strip. The strip of land is touted as the Asian equivalent of the legendary Las Vegas Strip.
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MGM Cotai will feature almost 1,400 hotel rooms, meeting and convention facilities, Macau’s first dynamic movie theater, food and beverage options, and a casino floor with both slot machines and table games.
MGM China broke ground on its Cotai Strip property five years ago. The venue was expected to be completed and launched in 2016. However, the company delayed its opening to the first half of 2017.
That deadline was not met and the opening was further postponed to the second half of 2017.
The weeks after the powerful Typhoon Hato, which battered Southern China, Macau included, in August, brought the news that MGM China would not be able to complete work on the resort by the end of the year. That delayed its opening to the public to late January 2018.
In its latest filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange the resort’s developer said that the reasons for the delay were of administrative nature. MGM China was yet to receive all the necessary licenses in order to be able to operate the property, including its casino portion.
Gaming Tables Allocation
It was announced earlier this week that MGM Cotai was allocated 125 gaming tables for its casino floor, which is way below the 150 tables some of its rivals on the Strip had previously been allowed to operate.
However, analysts from Union Gaming are optimistic that the resort will get another 25 tables once it gets its license from the local gambling regulator DICJ renewed. MGM China is one of the six casino operators authorized to operate gambling services in the city. The company’s license is set to expire in 2020.
Macau’s government and gambling authority are yet to reveal details on whether the six licenses will be renewed and how exactly this would happen. Despite the current lack of clarity, analysts are positive that Macau’s existing operators have nothing to worry for.