Macau and Cotai Casino Operators
Prior to 2002, gambling in Macau was controlled by one person, Stanley Ho. In 2002, the government of Macau broke up Stanley Ho’s casino monopoly and awarded three valuable gambling concessions (licenses) from a pool of 21 applicants. Stanley Ho (SJM) was awarded one license, and two new entrants received concessions – Galaxy Entertainment and Wynn Resorts. Galaxy Entertainment had been working closely with Las Vegas Sands to jointly develop casino resorts in Cotai. However, Galaxy Entertainment and Las Vegas Sands had different visions and could not come to agreement on plans, so the government awarded Las Vegas Sands a sub-concession license so the company could pursue its development vision. To be fair, the government also awarded sub-concession licenses to Ho and Wynn. So SJM granted Stanley Ho’s daughter, Pansy Ho (who teamed up with MGM Mirage to form MGM Grand Paradise), its sub-concession license, and Wynn Resorts went on to sell its sub-concession license to Melco PBL (a joint venture between Stanley Ho’s son and Australia’s PBL) for a whopping US$900 million. Read more about the history of gaming and casino operation in Macau in the A.G. Burnett Testimony before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission here.
Six Companies Currently Own and Operate Macau Casinos.
SJM (Stanley Ho)
Stanley Ho previously had a monopoly on the Macau gaming market until the laws were liberalised.
Galaxy Entertainment is a publicly traded company on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (Stock Code 27). Through its wholly owned subsidiary, Galaxy Casino, the company operates five casinos in Cotai and Macau and has one under construction.
Casino and Hotel Resorts
Galaxy’s flagship casino, the Galaxy Starworld, is located in the heart of the Macau Peninsula gaming hub. The 5-star hotel has a unique “Asian Heart” to match its unique shape, which helps make itself one of the most noticeable and memorable casinos in Macau. Under construction with a planned mid-2008 opening, the Galaxy GalaxyWorld Resort will be a mythically themed “must see” attraction just off the Cotai Strip. When its phase II expansion is complete in 2012, the Galaxy Cotai Mega Resort casino will truly live up to its “Mega Resort” name by offering 12,000 hotel rooms and 1,500 gambling tables. Galaxy Entertainment also operates four CityClub casinos in Macau, which are partnered with Macau hotels not owned by Galaxy. The CityClub Casinos are The Waldo Casino, The Rio Casino, and The President Casino on the Macau Peninsula, along with The Grand Waldo Casino in Cotai. The CityClub casinos are smaller, VIP oriented casinos that are partnered with Macau hotels to conveniently offer a full range of amenities.
Wynn Resorts is a publicly traded company on the NYSE (ticker symbol WYNN), majority owned by Las Vegas visionary Steve Wynn. The company opened the luxurious Wynn Macau on the Macau Peninsula in 2007 to rave reviews and has redefined Macau’s hotel casino landscape.
While the company controls 52 acres in Cotai, Macau, the company has yet to announce anything definitive regarding the development of their Cotai site. Wynn had previously stated that the company would do a joint venture to develop the Cotai site, but has since changed plans and now appears to be developing the site itself with a possible 2009 opening. The Cotai land plot is large enough to build more than one casino resort if the company chooses.
MGM Grand Paradise
MGM Grand Paradise is a 50/50 joint venture between the US publicly traded casino company MGM-Mirage (MGM on NYSE) and Stanley Ho’s daughter, Pansy Ho.
MGM United States
MGM-Mirage is mainly a Las Vegas casino owner and operator that formed over the years through the acquisitions of Steve Wynn’s old Mirage, and more recently Mandalay Bay Group. The company’s best known Las Vegas Strip properties are the Bellagio, Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, Mirage, and Treasure Island, and is also building the US $9 billion City Center on the Las Vegas Strip.
MGM Macau and Cotai
MGM Grand Paradise owns a hotel casino resort on the Macau Peninsula called MGM Grand Macau. In February 2007, the MGM Grand Paradise announced its plans to begin planning a second casino resort somewhere in Cotai. The company has not disclosed much detail regarding the project. At this point the size and exact location of MGM Grand Paradise’s Cotai unknown.
Las Vegas Sands
Las Vegas Sands is a publicly traded casino company on the NYSE that trades under the ticker symbol LVS. The company is majority owned by the second wealthiest person in the world, Sheldon Adelson.
LVS Casinos and Hotels
In Las Vegas, the company owns the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino on the Las Vegas Strip, along with the integrated Sands Expo Center and the adjacent Palazzo Casino that is currently under construction.
In Macau, Las Vegas Sands ushered in a new era of Macau tourism and gambling with the opening of its beautiful Sands Macao on May 18, 2004 on the Macau peninsula. Before the Sands Macau opened, Macau gambling was monopolized by Stanley Ho, who ran mostly old, unspectacular gambling casinos. In addition to the Sands Macau, Las Vegas Sands is building its soon to be flagship casino in Macau, the Venetian Macao, along with the infrastructure of the Cotai Strip. The company is also planning a multi-billion dollar tourism and MICE project on Hengqin Island, China, which is just a stone’s throw from Cotai, Macau.
The company is also developing casinos in Singapore, Pennsylvania and continues to pursue international expansion of its growing casino empire.
Melco PBL Entertainment (Macau) Limited is a 50/50 joint venture between Melco International Development and Australia’s Publishing and Broadcasting Limited that is publicly traded on the NASDAQ stock exchange under ticker symbol MPEL. Melco PBL operates six Mocha Slot parlors throughout Macau, is building two new casinos in the Cotai area of Macau, and is planning a third casino on the Macau peninsula.
Melco PBL Casinos
The luxurious Crown Macau in Taipa, scheduled to open in 2007, will call itself Macau’s first six-star resort. Melco PBL’s underwater themed USD$2 billion City of Dreams casino will open its first phase in 2008 and become one of Cotai’s “must-see” attractions. In addition, Melco PBL has land set aside for a third casino that is currently being called the Macau Peninsula Project, and the company will also manage the casino operations for eSun’s Cotai Strip project, Macau Studio City, once it opens.
Melco PBL Mocha Slots
Melco PBL owns six separate Mocha Slot parlors located throughout Macau and Cotai. The slot parlors are small in size and usually located in hotels.
Other Macau and Cotai Casino Brands
You will also see other companies and brands mentioned, such as Four Seasons, Hard Rock, and eSun. If the company mentioned is not one of the six concessionaires listed above, then the company will not own or manage its own casino. The company will need to get one of the six concessionaires to actually run the casino aspect of the resort. Or in some cases, it is just a company licensing its brand to another company, as is the case with the Hard Rock.
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Hannah Louise Summers uses a new ferry service – a lake crossing on which her grandfather once worked – to explore both sides of Carlingford Lough, which straddles the Irish borderEvery school holiday was the same. For hours we’d trundle south from Belfast in my grandpa’s battered blue...
Uluru climb banned from October 2019 after historic voteWednesday the 1st, 2017
Traditional owners and park managers agree central Australian rock is ‘not a playground or theme park’ and support banClimbing Uluru in Australia’s red centre will end, traditional owners and national park managers have announced.The historic decision came on Wednesday after a management...
Meeting the locals is a piece of cake in GothenburgSaturday the 28th, 2017
From jogging in a nature reserve to joining in the Scandi ritual of fika, a new initiative in west Sweden gives visitors the chance to connect with the inhabitantsWithin a couple of hours of landing in Gothenburg, west Sweden, I am having lunch at street food truck Jinx with a local named Jonte,...
Eataly World opens but leaves a bad taste in BolognaFriday the 17th, 2017
It’s the world’s biggest food park with over a kilometre of shops, big brands, even farm animals. But is Eataly World a betrayal of Italian gastronomy?Italy’s “City of Food” has a new attraction. After wandering the alleyways of Bologna’s Mercato di Mezzo – which is filled with...
10 of the best small UK towns for winter breaksSaturday the 19th, 2016
The historic buildings, modern restaurants, cosy pubs and independent shops of these towns banish any notions of a backwater. And they sparkle in the Christmas season – perfect for a weekend break or day tripYou’d expect the home of the Bakewell pudding to know a thing or two about keeping...
Guide to Patagonia: what to do, how to do it, and where to staySaturday the 13th, 2014
Forty years ago this month, Bruce Chatwin visited Patagonia and his subsequent book lit a beacon for the remote region in many travellers’ minds. Chris Moss picks the highlights among its peaks, glaciers and lakesFor my first forays into Patagonia, in the 1990s, I left behind my guidebooks and...
The best UK Christmas days out – for kids and adultsSunday the 22nd, 2015
Whether you’re looking for markets, carols, mulled wine, ice-skating, Narnia or, of course, Santa – we have Christmas all wrapped upWinter wonderland, CardiffThe new Ice Kingdom is a fantasy world created from ice sculptures, and there’s also an open-air ice rink, a fairground and an Alpine...
10 of the best clubs in Amsterdam – chosen by the expertsWednesday the 22nd, 2017
Amsterdam’s nightlife is thriving, with three major new clubs adding to the existing scene. We asked local DJs, producers and music writers to name their favourite party venues De Marktkantine has been around for about two years. For me, it’s the most unappreciated club in the city even...
The alt city guide to YorkWednesday the 15th, 2017
It’s time for the Romans and Vikings to make way for a new insurgency in the North Yorkshire jewel: a sparky, creative scene fuelled by innovative music, food and drink outletsWhat images come to mind when you think of York? The Minster, steam engines, Romans and Vikings, a city resisting the...
Top 10 national parks in CaliforniaTuesday the 17th, 2013
Yosemite, Death Valley, Joshua Tree, Redwood … California’s national and state parks are home to some of the most iconic views and landscapes on the planet. Here’s how to explore themIt sounds like a place to avoid, but don't let the ominous name scare you away. Most of the year, this vast...
JLL Real Views - Can Saudi Arabia Build a Popular Tourist Destination? - By Neasa MacErleanThursday the 31st, 2017
Tourism in the Middle East has long been dominated by the high-end resorts in Dubai, Egypt and Jordan yet they could soon have a new challenger in their midst. Saudi Arabia is turning its attention to tourism and entertainment as it seeks to not only reposition its economy but also meet a...
Last Americans Rush to North Korea Ahead of Travel Ban - CNNMonday the 28th, 2017
A looming US travel ban has prompted some daring American globetrotters to fast-track their vacations to North Korea.
Pain in Spain: Are Tourists Still Welcome? - BBCThursday the 17th, 2017
As anti-tourism protests hit Barcelona, can visitors happily coexist with local residents?
Vancouver Island Boasts One of the Most Expensive Luxury Hotels in the WorldMonday the 24th, 2017
A resort in Vancouver Island ranks among the most expensive hotels in the world, according to a survey conducted by Luxury-Hotels.com.
InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa Unveils 10 Pool Overwater VillasTuesday the 11th, 2017
The Pool Premium Overwater Villas offer horizon infinity views and the Pool Overwater Villas feature scenic sights of the lagoon and beach. Modern and luxurious, the one-bedroom villas feature sleek, contemporary décor with Polynesian touches, each encompassing 1,345 square-feet including...