Hong Kong-based Emperor Entertainment Hotel Ltd will let concessioner SJM Holdings Ltd run the satellite casino at the Grand Emperor Hotel for another six months despite the service agreement with SJM expiring on June 26. In order to keep the casino running, SJM shall have to pay fees of HKD 21.0 million ($2.6 million) to Emperor Entertainment Hotel for the period from June 27 to December 31, 2022.
New Gaming Law Legal Amendment in Process
In early April, Emperor Entertainment Hotel announced that the casino at the Emperor Entertainment Hotel is going to close on June 27 as the group did not have any plans to renew its service agreement with SJM.
This announcement was the result of a new proposal to make changes to Macau’s gaming law, which would oblige casino concessioners to own the property where the casino is located or close operations altogether. Subsequently, the authorities made a change to the proposal allowing concessioners to function as a managing entity even if they do not get full ownership rights as long as they have a contract with the owner.
However, according to these proposed regulations, if a concessioner is acting as a managing entity it is only allowed to charge for its management services and cannot take part in the revenue from the gambling operations. These additional changes to the proposed regulations aimed at preventing unemployment in Macau resulting from the closure of numerous satellite casinos, including the one at the Grand Emperor Hotel. The final version of the law amendment will be subjected to voting on June 21.
The Macau Satellite Casino Scene
SJM runs 14 out of the 18 satellite casinos in Macau. The other 4 are under the license of Galaxy Entertainment Group (GEG) and Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd. GEG has already announced that it will be closing two of its satellite casinos on June 16. The total number of all casinos in the city is 40. In addition to the new law amendment that is underway, casinos in Macau have suffered due to stricter rules on visas, decreased cash flows, and the negative impact of the pandemic on their operations. As a result, a total of seven satellite casinos have already announced they will be closing down by mid-year.