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SJM CEO: Positive outlook for Golden Week performance

The local gaming operator, on the other hand, will stick to the original plan for the Cotai property opening as well as the budget

After the third day of the National Day Golden Week holiday, the high number of hotel bookings in the city shows encouraging performance this year, according to the Chief Executive Officer of local gaming operator SJM Holdings Ltd., Ambrose So Shu Fai, remarking on the sidelines of a cocktail reception yesterday.
“I can’t forecast [the gaming revenue] but logically this will be good for Macau’s revenue,” said the CEO.
Saying that the number of visitors had grown from prior years, So expressed the wish that the increased number would bring more income.
When asked whether there were any changes in terms of numbers between high rollers and mass market gamblers, So said there are none.
“Some high rollers go to the mass market area and some mass market players play in the VIP rooms,” said So, noting that the ratio of mass market gamblers has increased compared to previous years.
Meanwhile, when asked by the press whether the increase in satellite casinos of SJM is a shift of strategy and whether SJM would consider expanding the number of satellite casinos, he said “the contribution [of the satellite casinos] to the bottom line of SJM is minimal,” thus the local gaming operator is not considering expanding the number.

On track
In the wake of the fire that broke out last month, the CEO said the the group’s new property in Cotai – Grand Lisboa Palace – would remain on track for an opening in the second half of 2018, while evaluation of fire damage is still ongoing.
“Fortunately, the fire didn’t break out at the critical part [of the project],” said So. “But of course there is certain damage to the equipment that needs to be replaced [and] luckily those are covered by insurance.”
As such, the CEO claimed that the budget of the construction – MOP36 billion (US$4.47 billion) – would not be overrun.
However, So said a partial opening of the new property could not be ruled out.
“There is a possibility [of partially opening] – we will always monitor the progress of work to see whether it is a complete opening or a partial opening,” he said. “Because you have different components involved in the whole project; it is a huge project, so we don’t rule out the possibility of a partial opening.”
The CEO divulged that they have yet to receive the results of the fire investigation from the Judiciary Police.

MOP200 million typhoon loss
So told the press that SJM had lost MOP200 million following the passage of Typhoon Hato in August, without taking into account gaming revenue.
When asked whether the loss caused by the typhoon would pose an impact upon SJM’s yearly performance, the CEO said “the few days would not affect [things] much, let’s hope Golden Week can cover the previous loss”.
According to him, Macau Legend Casino, Ponte 16 and Kam Pek Community Centre are the most seriously affected premises.

Old premises can fit smoking lounges
With the MSAR Government’s recent release of smoking lounge regulations and guidelines, So said older premises such as Casino Lisboa can fit smoking lounges.
“Old premises are continually refitted […] so when the government has new requirements we have the new equipment installed when we renew our venues, otherwise we will install first, then renew,” he said.
Meanwhile, the CEO said the installment of smoking lounges, both in the mass market and VIP rooms, would not cost a lot but a concrete budget for the setup was not yet ready.

Royal Dragon borrows gaming tables
Ambrose So Shu Fai, CEO of local gaming operator SJM Holdings Ltd., confirmed with the press that the 20 tables for the newly opened Royal Dragon Hotel and Casino last week by former legislator Chan Meng Kam were sourced from Chan’s Golden Dragon property and Oceanus. However, the CEO did not reveal the exact number of tables on loan from Oceanus, saying, “There is no fixed number of tables being borrowed […] the tables are allocated internally.”

Current gaming concessions enough
CEO of SJM Holdings Ltd Ambrose So said the current number of gaming concessions is enough for the city’s development as a World Centre of Tourism and Leisure although he is aware that “it would be a decision made by the MSAR and central governments”.

Cocktail reception celebration
Local gaming operator SJM Holdings Ltd. celebrated the 68th Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China yesterday with hundreds of its employees at the Macau Tower Convention and Entertainment Centre.
Executive Director Angela Leong On Kei thanked her co-workers for the efforts in coping with the difficult conditions resulting from Typhoon Hato in August.
She also encouraged co-workers to continue their roles in passing on the Chinese spirit and in diversifying SJM’s business in order to integrate and participate in the plans made by the MSAR Government, such as diversifying the city’s economy.