Maybe it’s all about the name. The casino simply called ‘The 13’ planned for Macau can’t seem to catch a break. Construction delays have continuously pushed the grand opening further and further back. The company behind the construction has had to reach out for more financial assistance after not being able to stay on budget. That company, which was previously called “The 13 Holdings Ltd.,” even changed its name to South Shore Holdings Ltd.—possibly in an attempt to break the bad luck spell. It didn’t work, and the casino is more than likely about to face another opening delay.
The 13 has been expected to open on June 30, after being pushed back from April 30. However, the Macao Government Tourism Office told GGRAsia that “there are still unfinished works inside the hotel, so the hotel applicant needs to apply for reinsertion once they are completed.” With that in mind, chances of meeting the deadline in eight days does not look good.
The casino was envisioned to be “the world’s most luxurious casino resort” by its founder, billionaire Stephen Hung. The hotel itself carried a hefty price of $1.6 billion to be built, and Hung was able to attract a number of investors to see the project through to the end. However, once the Chinese government began cracking down on VIP junkets between mainland China and Macau, things started to fall apart.
Shares in the company are now almost worthless. In 2014, they were going for $4 a piece—now they’re worth only around $0.10. Hung ultimately left the company this past February amid the operation’s questionable future.
While the hotel could be opening soon, the casino action is still a long way off. Currently, casino operations won’t be ready until sometime next year. As just a hotel, it will be difficult to maintain operations. Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Margaret Huang said previously, “If the property operates as a standalone hotel, it may be difficult to justify room rates to match its high-end focus. Without a casino, it would be nearly impossible to have gamblers book rooms separately with them.”
It’s not too late—perhaps it’s time to swallow pride and consider a name change. Since “The 14” could also bring bad luck, maybe it’s time to consider “The 15.”