Non-gaming pays

Wynn Macau Ltd. has confirmed it will transfer 250 tables from its Wynn Macau property to Wynn Palace after its planned opening on August 22, according to a company filing yesterday with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
Last week, the Secretary for Economy and Finance, Lionel Leong Vai Tac announced that the new gaming project is authorized to run 150 tables – 100 new gaming tables after opening, with the other 50 gaming tables only becoming available in the following two years.
‘The Gaming Inspection and Co-ordination Bureau (DICJ) authorised 100 new table games for operation at Wynn Palace effective 22 August 2016, 25 new table games for operation on January 1 of 2017 and 25 new table games for operation on January 1 of 2018’, the gaming group stated in its release.
The gaming operator had applied for 400 tables, but the government decided on 150 according to a principle of compound annual growth rate in new gaming tables of no more than three per cent until 2023.
Wynn Macau Ltd. told Business Daily it is “satisfied with the allocation we’ve received”.
With the table transfer, Wynn Palace will have 350 operational tables available upon opening, in addition to 1,145 slot machines, with Wynn Macau seeing its table number reduced to 270.
Not family oriented
According to analyst Grant Govertsen from Union Gaming, the decision to allocate only 150 tables to Wynn Palace, rather than the 250 tables Galaxy Macau Phase II / Broadway and Studio City received, was justified by the MSAR Government because the “projects that opened last year had a greater focus on family entertainment and non-gaming offerings, and – importantly in our view – a nod to the local community with on-property support for SMEs”.
According to the analyst, the on-property support for local companies was demonstrated by the opening of many local Macau restaurants at Broadway and Studio City.
In Govertsen’s view, the next projects to open in Cotai – Las Vegas Sands’ The Parisian on September 13, and MGM Cotai in the second quarter of 2017 – are in a better position to receive more than 150 tables, due to their focus on non-gaming activities.
“As it relates to Parisian, and in the context of the government’s explanation above, no operator has historically focused more on non-gaming and family-style entertainment than Sands China and we think Parisian will be no different. As it relates to MGM Cotai, we don’t know what’s planned as far as the total package of non-gaming amenities and local SME support is concerned, but we do recognize that the company has a few quarters to get everything buttoned down before applying for a table grant when they open,” Govertsen stated.
The allocation of a larger number of tables at Grand Lisboa Palace, scheduled to open in early 2018, was also considered a possibility by the analyst.
Leftover tables
According to the analyst’s calculations, the Macau government will have 947 table games available to distribute, when taking into account all the tables allocated since 2012, including Wynn Palace.
“Under the assumption that The Parisian Macau, MGM Cotai, and Grand Lisboa Palace each get 250, this would leave the government with 197 tables in its pocket that could be granted,” Govertsen stated.
In the analyst’s opinion, in the case that Wynn Palace checks “more boxes as it relates to family-style non-gaming and on-property SME support” the government could maybe change its decision in regard to the number of allocated tables after 2018.
As of June, Macau had 5,998 gaming tables spread over 36 casinos according to DICJ.