- Surprise at emergence of new casino venue
- Existing Macau moratorium designed to limit market expansion
The emergence of a new casino venue known as the Royal Dragon in Macau has caused surprise among industry observers, with many questioning what terms and conditions the casino is operating under.
According to GGR Asia, Macau has a moratorium which was introduced by Macau’s first chief executive, Edmund Ho Hau Wah that prevents service agreements under which third-party investors take advantage of the licence of one of the region’s six casino operators.
Reporting by GGR Asia has revealed that the property, which is not open to the public, carried a logo that was similar to that of the nearby casino hotel Golden Dragon, which GGR Asia states is run by a firm called Golden Dragon Co Ltd, chaired by veteran Macau legislator and casino resort manager Chan Meng Kam.
According to reporting by GGR Asia, Mr Chan is also chairman of the Hotel Royal Dragon (Macao) Co Ltd, the company responsible for promoting the new hotel property.
GGR Asia reports that the Golden Dragon casino uses the gaming licence of operator SJM Holdings Ltd, and that Casino Taipa Square – another venue run by Golden Dragon Co – is operated under the licence of Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd.
An approach to the Office of the Secretary for Economy and Finance by GGR Asia was referred to the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, which is the local regulator.
According to GGR Asia’s reporting the Bureau had not received any official request from a gaming concessionaire for a new casino at the site, and the Bureau said that it had no additional comments on whether there was permission for gaming at the property.
Quoted by GGR Asia, Wang Changbin, the director of the Gaming Teaching and Research Centre at Macao Polytechnic Institute, said he was surprised by the new casino:
“I wondered why the government did not look into the matter. We’ve learnt from the gaming regulator before that the Macau government has imposed a moratorium on new service agreements. But how this policy has been applied in the past years is unclear.”Wang Changbin
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