Macau to limit table growth; Wynn Macau plans not approved; Melco Crown needs to apply for license

Inside Venetian Macau

Inside Venetian MacauThe world’s largest casino business location on the planet is to limit the growth in table numbers in two year’s time. Macau will place restrictions on table growth after 2013 that will mean numbers will be unable to grow by more than 3% per year. Secretary for Economy and Finance, Francis Tam Pak Yuen, who announced the first restrictions last year when he said tables, in the enclave, would be limited to 5,500 until 2013. The latest restrictions are expected to last for 10 years meaning that they will run until the current gaming concessions expire in 2023. This news won’t reassure companies operating on the enclave and could move them to look at expansion in other parts of Asia’s burgeoning gaming industry.

Tam has also made Steve Wynn look like Pinocchio. The government confirmed that they haven’t yet approved Wynn Macau’s land concession on the Cotai Strip.

Tam said, “Companies may release their news, and the news should correspond to reality. Anyhow these news release won’t affect the process.”

Wynn Macau last week announced a payment of MOP1.55billion to the government for the piece of land on the Cotai strip. Tam went on to say that the land concession was likely to be approved at some point in the future. He said, “The government has already said that land concession requests for gaming projects filed before 2008 would be approved. But those submitted after 2008 would not. Wynn is one of the operators that filed the request before that timeline.”

Melco Crown was told that it will have to apply to the government in order to gain approval for a casino at the Macau Studio City project they invested in. The venue, also on the Cotai Strip, is projected to include 300-400 tables and as many as 1,200 slot machines when it opens. It was pointed out that the venue has no casino license in the original application though.