MGM China bets on new 5-star resort in Cotai

Casino operator plans 500-table venue in joint venture with daughter of mogul Stanley Ho

PUBLISHED : Friday, 19 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 19 October, 2012, 3:33am

Casino operator MGM China announced yesterday that it would develop a five-star luxury resort and casino with 500 tables in Cotai, the new gaming hot spot in Macau.

The company said it paid 450 million patacas as initial payment for a 25-year land lease from the government. The lease can be extended later.

The joint venture, between Macau gaming mogul Stanley Ho Hung-sun's daughter Pansy Ho Chiu-king and MGM Resorts International, the biggest casino operator on the Las Vegas Strip, said it would invest HK$20 billion to develop the resort that would house 1,600 hotel rooms, 500 gaming tables and 2,500 slot machines.

The 7.2 hectare site will give MGM China a presence in Cotai, which an increasing number of mainland tourists seem to prefer to the Macau peninsula for gaming and shopping.

MGM will pay a total of 1.29 billion patacas, including the initial payment. The rest will be paid in eight equal instalments due every six months, including a 5 per cent interest, MGM said in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange.

Rivals, including Sands China, Galaxy Entertainment and Melco Crown Entertainment, already have facilities at Cotai, while Wynn Macau is building a project of US$4 billion there.

MGM Resorts chairman and chief executive Jim Murren said the new resort was a significant growth opportunity for MGM China. "The project will fully demonstrate our strengths in … design and branding, quality of service, and thoughtful diversification of product offerings."

Construction is expected to begin after the publication of the land concession contract in the official gazette of Macau and is anticipated to take up to 36 months.