Melco Crown requests casino at Studio City

Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd has already submitted a formal request to the government to include a casino in its Studio City project. Portuguese language daily Jornal Tribuna de Macau today quotes a source close to the process as saying that a formal request was submitted after a statement in early December by Secretary for Economy and Finance Francis Tam Pak Yuen, that the government had yet to receive any application to include gaming elements on the project. The newspaper added there is no government deadline for a decision on the request. Last month, the company’s chief executive officer, Lawrence Ho, had already confirmed all Studio City’s design plans were “effectively complete and we are undergoing the necessary government processes to obtain the required approvals to commence construction.” The gaming operator has stated several times that it is confident that it will be able to include a casino in the project, to be located in Cotai. Melco Crown bought a majority stake in the Studio City project last year. Since 2007 there was an agreement between the gaming operator and the previous shareholders, for Melco Crown to operate a casino there.