Sands China seeks Parisian delay; MGM Cotai stays on target; SJM VIP room closes

sands-china-parisian-macao-delayCasino operator Las Vegas Sands won’t make its original deadline for opening its new Parisian Macao resort casino.

LVS’ Asian division Sands China reported its H1 earnings last week, and the report contained a warning that its in-development $2.7b Parisian property on Macau’s Cotai strip might not meet its April 2016 opening target.

That’s a problem, as the company is required to meet that deadline or risk forfeiting its concessions on the land underneath the resort as well as its Sands Cotai Central resort. This would result in Sands losing the ability to operate any facilities on these properties and force it to book a charge covering all or some of the combined $6b in capitalized construction costs related to these two properties.

On Wednesday, Sands China told the Macau Daily Times that it had applied to the Macau government for an extension on this deadline. The company now hopes to open the Parisian sometime in the second half of 2016.

MGM China, MGM Resorts’ joint venture in Macau, is adamant that it will meet its Q4 2016 deadline for opening its in-development MGM Cotai property. On Tuesday, MGM China CEO Grant Bowie told local reporters that the company’s focus remained “to get our buildings finished and make sure it gets to the standard we’re looking for.”

Bowie said he remains hopeful that the property will get the full complement of the 500 gaming tables it originally requested, saying there was “no point in not being positive.” Positivity aside, Galaxy Macau’s Phase Two received only 150 tables when it opened this spring, and Melco Crown Entertainment’s new Studio City is widely expected to receive a similar amount when it opens on Oct. 27, so Bowie might want to do some contingency planning.

Amidst all this talk of openings, VIP gaming promoter Golden Resorts Group has reportedly closed its two-storey VIP room at the SJM Holdings-licensed Hotel Lisboa. The Ming Pao news agency said the closure had left 21 staff members out of work. Earlier this month, the Association of Gaming and Entertainment Promoters of Macau claimed Macau’s declining VIP gaming market has resulted in a 30% decline in the number of junket operators plying their trade in Macau since their 2013 peak.