Macau’s six casino operators pledged to invest nearly $15 billion as part of new 10-year contracts they signed to operate in the world’s biggest gambling hub, with the spending on non-gaming activities to exceed gaming spend by more than 10 times.
The signing of the contracts eases fears of investors and executives after a lengthy bidding process that had threatened to end one company’s run.
Macau’s leader Ho Iat Seng and officials including the city’s finance and economy secretary presided over the signing at Macau’s Government House together with top executives of the casino companies.
Incumbent operators Sands China, Wynn Macau, Galaxy Entertainment, MGM China, Melco Resorts and SJM Holdings beat off a surprise bid from Malaysia’s Genting to win the six licences on offer in the Chinese special administrative region.
The new contracts come into effect on Jan. 1, 2023.
Each casino head was invited to sit at a long red table alongside the government officials as they signed. The executives included Pansy Ho, the billionaire daughter of Macau’s gambling godfather Stanley Ho, and who heads MGM Resorts’ (MGM.N) Macau company MGM China.
The operators are expected to focus on non-gaming activities in the new term, particularly as Beijing is keen for Macau to diversify away from gambling and attract foreign tourists.
The total investment committed by the gaming companies for the development of non-gaming projects is 108.7 billion patacas ($13.57 billion), with the total investment in gaming projects 10.1 billion patacas, the city’s government said.
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