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The MGM Macau casino resort. Owner MGM China has delayed the opening of its second complex in the city, MGM Cotai, for a fourth time. Photo: Edward Wong

MGM China delays opening of US$3.4 billion Cotai casino resort for fourth time

Company says it is still going through an administrative approval process, and expects the resort to open in February


MGM China Holdings, one of Macau’s six major casino operators, has delayed for a fourth time the opening of its much anticipated US$3.4 billion new resort, MGM Cotai, saying it was still going through an administrative approval process.

The company’s second integrated casino, hotel and entertainment complex in Macau, MGM Cotai was originally scheduled to open on January 29, and invitations to the opening ceremony had already been sent out.

The complex was first scheduled for opening in 2016, a date that was pushed back to the first half of 2017 and then to the second half of 2017, before the company announced in September last year the date would be January 29.

“The company is going through the administrative approval process of obtaining relevant licences to operate MGM Cotai,” MGM China said in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange. “As a result, it is now expected that the public opening date of MGM Cotai will be within the month of February 2018.”

It said that the overall budget of the project was expected to remain unchanged at about HK$27 billion (US$3.4 billion).

In a separate statement, MGM China said it was “working closely with the Macau government” on the issue.

Shares of MGM China shed around 7.6 per cent on Thursday morning, before the announcement.

MGM Cotai has 1,390 hotel rooms and has taken five years to build. The company has said it was being built “to drive greater product diversification and bring more advanced and innovative forms of entertainment to Macau”.

MGM China, a joint venture between Pansy Ho Chiu-king, the daughter of gaming tycoon Stanley Ho Hung-sun, and Las Vegas gaming giant MGM Resorts, already operates the MGM Macau resort in the city.

It employs close to 6,000 people and posted HK$3.68 billion in revenue in the third quarter of 2017, a 5 per cent rise from the second quarter.

This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: MGM China hits fourth delay in opening Cotai casino