MGM Resorts will officially open its $3.4bn MGM Cotai resort in Macau today, just days ahead of the Chinese New Year and with the hopes of encouraging Chinese revellers.
This latest opening comes amid speculation over the resort developer’s licence, which is due to expire in the next two years and is due to be renewed at some point over the next twelve months.
However, at present authorities in Macau have failed to confirm how and when the licence will be renewed. Other big names whose licences come up for renewal over the next few years include SJM Holdings, Sands China, Wynn Macau, Galaxy Entertainment and Melco Resorts.
In an effort to placate the Chinese authorities, who have become unsure about Macau’s continued reliance on gambling and guarantee their licences, many of the operators whose licences are subject to renewal have diversified their operations into non-gaming amenities.
MGM Cotai resort includes a 2,000 seat theatre and artwork including 28 carpets dating back to the Qing dynasty. It will more than triple the number of hotel rooms operated by MGM in Macau to 1,972 while also increasing the number of gaming tables operated by MGM to 552.
The resort, which is shaped like a jewellery box, features a casino, spa, retail outlets and a food and beverage outlet.
Macau itself has been experiencing a buoyant period of revenue growth, which rose 36.4% year-on-year in January to MOP26.26bn (US$3.26bn), according to data released by the city’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau released earlier this month.
January's year-on-year gross gaming revenue increase figures are the highest for the Asian gaming hub since February 2014.
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