Casino operator Melco Crown Entertainment is reportedly seeking to put VIP gaming tables at its Studio City property in Macau.
The city state’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) confirmed to GGRAsia that it has received an application from Melco Crown “to open new [VIP] gaming tables in Studio City.” In an email to the news outlet, the gaming regulator said it is “currently analyzing the application.”
Studio City made headlines during its official grand opening last year based on its complete lack of VIP gaming tables. However, the company’s chief operating officer Ted Chan Ying Tat indicated in June that Melco Crown is considering ending its VIP embargo in part because “we internally are not very satisfied with the current condition” of the Studio City property.
DICJ noted that Melco Crown’s application did not specify where the VIP tables will be coming from. But given the government’s cap on the number of live-dealer gaming tables allowed in the market, the report stated there is a possibility that the tables will either come from Studio City’s main floor or from Melco Crown’s other Macau venues. Studio City originally applied for 400 gaming tables, but had received 200 new tables when it opened, while the remaining 50 were scheduled to come in January.
In a separate email to the news outlet, Melco Crown said, “In terms of the 30 tables that are set to be designated for such purposes [VIP gaming at Studio City], two-thirds will be allotted to junkets by two major junket operators; and one-third [will go] to premium direct.”
When Studio City launched, MCE CEO Lawrence Ho framed the lack of VIP rooms as a “business decision” based on (a) the company’s stated desire to focus the property on mass market guests and (b) its disappointment with being allocated only 250 new gaming tables.