The gambling industry is an important source of funds for Macau’s economy. Despite the recent crackdown on the gambling industry in China, Macau continues to be one of the largest casino markets in the world. The Gaming Inspection and Co-ordination Bureau allowed MGM China Holdings to place a total of 125 new-to-market live dealer gaming tables in its gambling property in Cotai.
The HKD27-billion gambling property will welcome its first guests with 100 new-to-market live dealer gaming tables. The casino resort was previously scheduled to open on 29th January this year, but only mere hours ago it became clear that the company behind the project pushes MGM Cotai grand opening to mid-February.
On Friday last week, Macau’s Secretary for Economy and Finance, Lionel Leong Vai Tac announced that MGM China submitted an application with the city’s casino watchdog for new-to-market live-dealer gaming tables for its gambling property in Cotai. The official refrained from providing further details, pending the final decision of the gambling regulator.
This Wednesday, Mr. Leong Vai Tac announced that the company will be allowed a total of 125 new-to-market live dealer gaming tables. He added that the gambling regulator also approved the transfer of 77 gaming tables from MGM Macau to MGM Cotai. The Cotai-based gambling resort will be allowed to add 100 new-to-market tables for its opening.
The company will be authorized to add the other 25 live dealer gaming tables on 1st January next year. In addition to that, the company is allowed to accommodate 900 new slot machines in its Cotai gambling venue. Mr. Leong Vai Tac did not provide any specifications regarding the number of VIP and mass-market gaming tables.
Macau’s Policy of Capping the Number of Live Dealer Gaming Tables
However, MGM China might be not completely happy with the regulator’s decision, as the company announced that its Cotai-based gambling property has the potential to host as much as 500 gaming tables. It is worth to note that MGM’s rivals, who are also new on the Cotai gambling market, received a very similar allocation of gaming tables.
In 2013, Macau government introduced a 3% cap on the number of new live dealer gaming tables. This means that the four major Cotai projects, including Wynn Palace, MGM Cotai, Parisian and Lisboa Palace needed to share a total of 1,097 gaming tables. The cap was introduced by Francis Tam, who was the Secretary for Economy and Finance at that time.The number of allowed new-to-market tables will remain frozen until 2022.
In 2015, the gambling regulator authorized 150 new-to-market tables for the second phase of Galaxy Macau, while Studio City got the approval to deploy 100 new-to-market gaming tables. Last year, the Gaming Inspection and Co-ordination Bureau allowed the Parisian Macao and Wynn Palace to place 150 gaming tables each.