SJM Holdings Ltd, already the market leader among Macau casino operators, has finally received its Cotai land grant from the government, Macau Business Daily has reported.
As part of the agreed upon land grant, SJM Holdings will be given a land area covering 70,468 square meters. In turn, SJM Holdings will pay the Macau government a total premium of MOP2.15 billion, including the MOP800 million that the company has already shelled out.
Ironically, despite holding the biggest casino market share in the world’s biggest gambling market, SJM Holdings is the last of the six operators in Macau to be granted approval to build a casino in the Cotai Strip. More interesting is the plot of land it acquired is the smallest of all the gaming operators that have been granted land in Cotai. But there could be a way for SJM to make its Cotai presence even more significant, something company CEO Ambrose So Shu Fai announced earlier this week when he said that SJM will combine land and resources with the company’s director Angela Leong On Kei, to build a Cotai casino resort that will be more than three times the size it originally anticipated.
Back in October, SJM Holdings announced its integrated resort plans at the Cotai Strip, which it envisioned to include a five-star hotel with 2,000 rooms, 700 gambling tables, about 1,000 slot machines, and even a car park.
SJM also has a land concession deal for a 180,000 square meter plot of land near the Macau Dome in Cotai to build a resort made up of “80 to 90” percent in non-gaming facilities. Among the more important features of the resort will be the 2,000 budget hotel rooms, increased catering facilities, and even a performance venue. SJM’s plans, at least as far as this establishment is concerned, appear to be geared towards the mass market, which CEO Ambrose So Shu Fai believes will allow the company to capture the enormous mass market that’s been thriving in Macau.
As far as the next step is concerned, SJM needs to get construction approval before it can break ground on the site, something that appears to be academic at this point. Once that’s settled, the project could break ground this year with a completed timetable expected between 2016 and 2017.