Macau (MNA) – The President of Macau Fisherman’s Wharf International Investment Ltd, Melinda Chan Mei Yi, said on Thursday that the local gaming company group Macau Legend Development Ltd, will try “its best” to apply for a local gaming concessionaire license if possible.
Macau Fisherman’s Wharf International Investment is a subsidiary of Macau legend, with Ms. Chan being the wife of the group’s CEO and co-chairman, David Chow Kam Fai.
“We don’t know yet wether the government is planning more licenses or to let new companies to do a bid. If it is possible our company will try its best. We are quite an aggressive Macau company […] based and built up in Macau. If the terms come out we will try our best to get it,” Ms. Chan said today in an interview after the company’s Spring Lunch with members of the media.
Macau Legend runs two casinos at Fisherman’s Wharf – Babylon Casino and the Legend Palace Casino – all operated under the casino license of gaming operator SJM Holdings Ltd.
The gaming license of SJM Holdings – and of its sub-concessionaire MGM China – are set to finish in 2020, with the Macau government having not yet clarified if it intends to extend the concession until 2022, in order to coincide with the end term of the remaining four concession and sub-concession.
In April, 2018 Macau Legend completed a HK$3.3 billion sale deal to dispose of the The Landmark Hotel but with the company still providing gaming services to its casino. The company previously stated that the proceeds from the sale were to be used in the redevelopment of Macau Fisherman’s Wharf.
For the six months to June 30, 2018 gaming revenue for the Macau Legend group increased by approximately 19.7 percent to approximately HKD674.2 million, mainly due to The Landmark sale.
Concerning the companies plans for its properties in Macau, Ms. Chan indicated the company is planning to increase the room capacity of Legend Palace Hotel, its most recent property having opened in 2017.
“Legend Palace only has 200 rooms so I’m planning to have more, but I haven’t made the submission yet, we’re trying to do the design. I’m planning to have 90 to 96 rooms in our building. A few years ago that area was already approved as hotel so we are just only changing some functions inside,” she added.
However, this expansion is still only in planning phase, with no requests having been made yet to the Macau government for permission to do it and no date provided by Ms. Chan on when the company was planing to make any request.
Macau Legend is also looking to renovate the nearby Macau Fisherman’s Wharf Convention & Exhibition Centre and retail shops in the hotel, with some closed areas in the property – which branded the logo of junket operator David Group – to be kept and open as new shops in June after renovations.
With the intent of increasing non-gaming offerings, Ms. Chan announced that by mid-2019 the company will open a VR zone developed by a “famous” Japanese gaming and movie company at the convention centre, with a Wax Museum to be developed at the Legend Boulevard.
Ms. Chan also addressed the groups’ Legendale Hotel, set to be developed in a land plot opposite to the Sands Macao property, stating that Macau Legend is still re-designing the final hotel plans and has not yet submitted them to the DSSOPT.
“There’s no room number yet, we’re doing calculation what facilities or how many restaurants, shops we want to include. We have to think if this is connected to Harbourview or how big the function rooms will be. Now I think function rooms are too small, I think we need a better on […]. All this we have to discuss,” she indicated.
In 2015 the the group requested the Land, Public Works and Transport Bureau (DSSOPT) to increase the initial proposed height limit for the hotel project from 60 metres to 90 metres.
However concerns from the local community that a 90 metres high building might block the view of the Guia Lighthouse and refusals from the DSSOPT and the Urban Planning Committee to any project above a 60-metres height limit led the company to have to prepare a new project proposal.
If approved the project was said to take up to three to five years to complete.
Ms. Chan also added that the company’s results during the Chinese New Year holiday period between February 4 and 10 were quite good, with Macau Legend benefiting from the proximity of its properties to the new Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge.
“The hotel was good, restaurants were full and many tourists who I believe came because of the new bridge and all the promotion done by our tourist department. You can see tourist numbers have grown by over 20 per cent. Our Fisherman’s Wharf benefited from it,” she added.
More than 1.21 million visitors entered Macau in the Chinese New Year holiday period between February 4 and 10, a 26.6 per cent increase from the same period last year.