The casino business in Macau could extend to the island of Coloane according to a report in GGRAsia claiming a government official said public opinion would be taken into account if one of the big six casino operators applied for a casino license.
Casinos could start popping up throughout Coloane after Macau’s Secretary for Economy and Finance, Lionel Leong Vai Tac, gave a partial thumbs up during a debate on the Macau government’s 2017 policy address with the Legislative Assembly on Friday.
The secretary said that public opinion would be taken into account should one of the big six casino operators in Macau decide to open up shop on the tiny island.
The subject came up in connection with the building of The 13 Hotel on the Cotai/Coloane border, built and promoted by The 13 Holdings Ltd (formerly Louis XIII Holdings Ltd).
The 13 Hotel – scheduled to open in early 2017 – will be one of the most luxurious hotels in the world, with more than $1.4 billion spent on construction and each room costing more than $7m to build.
The promotion for the hotel currently describes it as an all-villa hotel with 200 rooms. There is no acknowledgement of a casino, but there has been mention of including one in the past. GGRAsia reached out to the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau to ask if 13 Holdings Ltd have requested permission to build a casino. The emailed reply read:
“As of now, we have not yet received from any one of the gaming concessionaires a request to open a new casino in The 13 hotel location.”
The secretary confirmed that should the public give the nod of approval for casino growth in Coloane that the six major casino operators in Macau will be eligible for application. Those six are Galaxy Entertainment, Melco Crown, MGM China, Sands China, SJM Holdings and Wynn Macau.
The only caveat was that proposals to build a casino in Coloane would have to be vetted and approved by the urban planning unit of the city’s Land, Public Works and Transport Bureau. The local authorities would then have to assess if the plans ‘clashed with how society is structured’ before the government had the final say.
Coloane is used to people populating the island in search of pieces of eight. Before 1910 the desolated island was used as a hideout for pirates operating in the area.