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Gaming in Macau – Millions to surpass Las Vegas

The Macau government has signed new gaming concessions with the six existing gaming operators, who have committed to invest more than MOP100 billion (US$12.5 billion) in developing non-gaming offerings to help Macau attract more international visitors and accelerate the recovery of local tourism in the post-pandemic period. However, details are lacking on how these new projects might help the city achieve one of its major goals: surpassing Las Vegas as an entertainment and gambling hub

In addition to the glitz and charm of the casinos and hotels, the Macau of the future will have a high-tech amusement park, a greenhouse with a tropical botanical garden, a skateboarding track, a high-tech health and wellness center, a riverside food street, and night markets. All projects announced by Macau’s six gaming operators for the next decade that are expected to help the city attract international visitors and reduce its economic dependence on the gaming sector.

After months of tendering over the new gaming licenses, the Macau government has decided to award the new 10-year licenses, which will take effect from January 1, 2023, to the six existing operators. The administration signed the gaming concession contracts last December 16 respectively with MGM Grand Paradise S.A., Galaxy Casino, S.A., Venetian Macau, S.A., Melco Resorts (Macau) S.A., Wynn Resorts (Macau) S.A., and SJM Resorts, S.A..

Also read: Macau gaming junkets should study China’s penal code amendments

Following the signing, each operator’s investment plan between 2023 and 2032 was presented. Over the next decade, the six agreed to invest MOP118.8 billion in Macau, including MOP108.7 billion to explore overseas customer markets and develop non-gaming projects and MOP10.1 billion for gaming initiatives.

In addition, if the annual gross gaming revenue of the entire Macau market reaches the MOP180 billion mark by 2027, or earlier, gaming operators will have to increase their promised non-gaming investments by at least 20 percent. If the MOP180 billion annual mark is reached only in 2028 or by 2032, the percentage of additional non-gaming investment will be limited between 16 percent, 12 percent, 8 percent, 4 percent or 0 percent, respectively.

While the future non-gaming investments will focus on different areas, no great detail was provided about the projects: the economic benefits and new jobs that would be generated by these new investments, for example.


Secretary for Administration and Justice Andre Cheong Weng Chun, who chaired the committee that managed the public tender, merely said at the press conference that it was “difficult to estimate” the overall economic benefits of these new investments. With different non-gaming offerings, Cheong indicated that the government hopes “that these can attract travelers from different locations to Macau and extend their stay, thus facilitating the development of tourism and the community economy” of the city.

Also read: Uncertainty continues to surround Macau’s projected gaming revenue target for 2023

With regard to international tourists, the ruler stressed that the authorities will also provide assistance to gambling operators, for example by extending the local airport’s air network and improving transport infrastructure between Macau and Hong Kong. After the end of the new 10-year concessions, the government expects that the number of foreign travelers to Macau could at least double compared to the pre-pandemic number.

At the press conference, representatives of the gaming operators also did not disclose exact targets and detailed figures on their investments. Lawrence Ho Yau Lung, president and CEO of Melco Resorts, said only that he is confident about Macau’s outlook, pointing out that international visitors would return after the mandatory quarantine requirement was relaxed.

Also read: Macau wants gaming operators to promote health tourism

On the other hand, Francis Lui, vice president of Galaxy Entertainment Group, pointed out that the number of visitors is not the only indicator to gauge the effectiveness of their projects, and it is also necessary to check the total consumption of travelers and the length of stay.

“We have to attract more high-quality travelers,” he added. Meanwhile, Pansy Ho Chiu King, co-chairman and CEO of MGM China Holdings, felt that “compared to Las Vegas, Macau is even more attractive to travelers.”



Investment commitment in international visits and non-gaming offerings: mop15 billion.

No. of gaming tables and gaming machines granted: 750 tables and 1,700 machines.


MGM will increase overseas sales networks to 30 locations and double the number of sales people. The company also proposes to hold events at its overseas sales networks in Asia and the Middle East to attract foreign tourists.

Also read: Gambling in Macau: Genting forces bigger investment from the “Big Six”


MGM will sign a partnership with world-renowned Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou and leading Chinese VR company Beijing Dang Hong Qi Tian International Culture and Development Group Co., Ltd to create the launch of MGM2049, a residency show with innovative technologies, in 2024.

Aiming to develop a “Culture + Business + Industry” ecosystem, the company will establish an annual cultural business theme to guide the planning of annual exhibitions, symposiums and business activities, such as space exploration chosen as next year’s theme in a collaboration with Chinese abstract artist, Hsiao Chin.

MGM also plans to build an “Urban Oasis”, a new landmark of health and wellness tourism in Macau with the concept of “sustainable living art”, as well as develop the “A-Ma Weekend Night Market” to promote a new consumer pattern and lower the age limit for local youth to start their businesses.



Investment promise in international visits and non-gaming offerings: MOP27.5 billion. No. of gaming tables and gaming machines granted: 1,000 tables and 1,700 machines.

Also read: Galaxy with first-half loss of 106.7 million euros in Macau


Galaxy plans to establish three offices in Singapore, Thailand and South Korea, and launch a series of marketing initiatives to target travelers from Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, the Philippines and Vietnam.


Galaxy will develop the first and only 61,000 square meter high-tech amusement park using multimedia, interactive and multi-sensory technologies dedicated to families and leisure visitors. There will also be a new music and performing arts theater with a capacity of 4,000 people. The operator is also committed to developing an art museum and ancillary facilities with a gross floor area of about 7,000 square meters, along with the creation of an integrated health, wellness, leisure and lifestyle space.



Investment promise in international visits and non-gaming offerings: MOP27.8 billion. No. of gaming tables and gaming machines granted: 1,680 tables and 3,700 machines.


The company will strengthen its network of international sales offices in Asia, the United States and Europe, organize an annual international business mega-event at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore to promote Macau, and target international customer markets such as South Korea, Japan, India, Southeast Asia and the US.


The operator plans to develop a new 18,000 square meter event and exhibition facility adjacent to the existing Cotai Expo. A 50,000 square meter tropical themed garden will be created within a greenhouse, while an incubation center will also be built to promote local start-ups in technology and manufacturing. The company will also offer guided tour services to visitors to the Macau Historical Center.



Investment commitment in international visits and non-gaming offers: MOP10 billion. No. of gaming tables and gaming machines granted: 750 tables and 2,100 machines


Melco will leverage its MICE representative offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, Manila and Cyprus to promote Macau in the markets of Europe, the Middle East, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. The operator will also strive to partner with international airlines that have flights to Macau and Hong Kong and make its private jets available.


Suspended since the start of the pandemic in 2020, the House of Dancing Water show will be revamped and relaunched in late 2024. The first series of residency concert shows in Asia, performed by Cantonese pop stars Aaron Kwok, Leon Lai and Joey Yung, will take place between 2023 and 2025 for a total of 90 concerts. A new Skateboard Park will also be set up in Studio City in 2024, and an international skateboard competition will be held annually starting the following year. There will also be a medical imaging and diagnostic check-up center and a multi-theater Cineplex at Studio City, with the latter opening in 2024. The Studio City Waterpark will also be enhanced next year with a new indoor area available year-round.



Investment promise in international visits and non-gaming offerings: mop16.5 billion. No. of gaming tables and gaming machines granted: 570 tables and 1,100 machines


Wynn will expand its network of sales and representative offices in Japan, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines, South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Canada, the United States and other countries. The company will also provide transportation services for its guests.


Wynn will create a new theater for world-class entertainment performances; an international dining space; a themed, interactive, immersive center for experiential entertainment; and an outdoor sculpture garden for works by international artists and interactive installations. Themed exhibitions and interactive artworks will also be held.



Investment commitment in international visits and non-gaming offerings: MOP12 billion. No. of gaming tables and gaming machines granted: 1,250 tables and 1,700 machines


SJM will target North and Southeast Asian markets, as well as international tourists from neighboring Hong Kong in the first phase, with the long-term goal of establishing representative offices in various

potential markets. Leveraging the huge land, sea and air transportation networks and resources of the company and its affiliates, SJM will provide integrated and comprehensive transportation services for international travelers.


The operator will spend MOP2.5 billion to renovate its flagship properties, Hotel Lisboa and Grand Lisboa. The refurbishment of the Grand Lisboa will be completed by 2024, while work on the Hotel Lisboa will not be completed until 2027 or 2028 with the purpose of offering more non-gaming attractions such as restaurants, stores and entertainment for children.

The floating casino “Macao Palace” will also be revitalized and anchored at Bridge 14 in the Inner Harbor area, with restaurants, stores, and a museum of the local gambling cultural history as new attractions. The area connecting Bridge 14 to Bridge 16 in the Inner Harbour area will also be redeveloped as a new riverside themed street. In addition to the gaming museum at “Macao Palace,” SJM will also develop an art culture museum and the largest gaming history museum in the city.

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