The Royal Dragon Casino is slated to swing its doors open today at noon in the downtown district of Macau peninsula, close to the Macau Polytechnic Institute, but it still does not have the gambling regulator’s approval to operate. The appearance of the mysterious Royal Dragon Casino sign came out of the blue to the locals, as the local gambling regulator did not receive any application for the opening of a new gambling facility in Macau. The news remained unchanged up to Friday last week, when the media outlet GGR Asia reported that the gaming bureau has just received a request from the new gambling facility to operate under SJM Holdings Ltd’s gaming license.
The new gambling hub, known to be owned by the local businessman and former policymaker Chan Meng Kam, is to open its doors today, without receiving the regulator’s approving nod. The day for its opening is not chosen by chance as it coincides with China’s October Golden Week holiday. According to GGR Asia, on Friday the director of the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ), Paulo Martins Chan received a request from the new gambling venue, asking to operate under SJM Holdings Ltd’s gaming license. Mr. Chan added that the request is still waiting for an approval and the paperwork is currently processed.
What makes the case even more complicated is the fact that in 2008 Macau has introduced the so-called moratorium, which puts a cap on the new casinos in the area, aiming to limit market expansion. In other words, third parties are not allowed to open a gambling facility under the license of some of the already existing 6 casino operators.
In an e-mailed reply on Friday, Mr. Chan told the news outlet that the new gambling venue will be allowed to install gambling tables providing that these are transferred from its other casino properties. This means that the number of the gambling tables in Macau is to remain unchanged. Tthe gaming bureau, though, did not specify the exact number of tables, which are expected to be moved to the new gambling venue.
The Appearance of the Controversial Casino
The sign of the new venue appeared to the surprise of locals and officials. Earlier this month, GGR Asia revealed that the new gambling venue is managed by Golden Dragon Co Ltd, also owned by Chan Meng Kam. Here it is important to note that Golden Dragon Co Ltd runs another casino hotel, which is also called Golden Dragon, as well as the gambling venue Casino Taipa Square, the latter known to operate under Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd’s license. It was reported that the logo of the new gambling facility bears a striking resemblance to the already established Golden Dragon casino resort. GGR Asia tried to contact Mr. Kam, but he refused to comment on the matter. The mystery around the new gambling facility is yet to be dug out.