The Grand Lisboa Palace, Macau’s New Attraction Opening Soon
Macau is a popular city in China dotted with resorts and is a huge tourism market. This city was formerly under the control of the Portuguese empire and was transferred back to Chinese governmental control in 1999. Macau is also very famous for gambling tourism and boasts a large number of casinos in the city area. There are only 6 concessionaires who are allowed to operate casinos and provide gambling services in Macau, and SJM Holdings, which is the behemoth company behind the Grand Lisboa Palace Casino construction is one of them.
The man behind the SJM conglomerate, Ambrose So She Fai is ecstatic in declaring that the Grand Lisboa Palace construction will be done by 2020 and that the casino will open its doors for business by the fag end of 2020. But this news was accompanied by a confession from the CEO that he doesn’t expect the entire space to be leased out by opening day – and we are talking about 5 billion US dollars worth of developed space.
SJM Holding initially had a monopoly over the Macau gambling market until 2002, when the monopoly was broken after the government started issuing licenses to other players. Even without a clear monopoly, SJM is responsible for running over 20 casinos in a city that is only 32 square miles in area – pretty impressive right? Some of these casinos include the famous Casino Grand Lisboa, and also the more recently constructed Emperor Palace Casino. The present Grand Lisboa Palace Casino’s construction began in the year 2014, having been completely financed by the holding conglomerate. The underwhelming optimism of the big boss in securing lease agreements for all the shop space in the property is a matter of concern.
There are high expectations being set of the Grand Lisboa Palace, as it is expected to compete with rival resort brands which are near to the property like the famous Venetian Macao which has around 2.4 billion US dollars invested into it. The CEO of SJM, Mr Ambrose believes that economic headwinds surrounding his company due to the Hong Kong protests and the US trade embargo with China is the main reason behind the delay of leasing and acquisition of space in the Grand Lisboa Palace, and this is leading to the overall delay to launch the integrated casino in Macau.
However, So hopes that the economic environment will change for the better and that opportunities will be created soon so that the casino launch can be successfully done as initially planned. With SJM Holding being a publicly-traded company, there are many people who have investment tied up with the success of the company and are hoping that this launch can go off smoothly and as planned. Few analysts agree that the delays have caused a cost escalation, but that this should not be a cause for a lot of concern, as SJM is very capable of turning the situation around with operating profits from such establishments being high.
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