SJM play for more tables as Grand Lisboa Palace lumbers towards completion

SJM, tables, Grand Lisboa Palace, Macau

SJM Holdings has submitted an application to the Macau city council for 300 to 500 new-to-market gaming tables for its Grand Lisboa Palace integrated resort.

The $4.6bn Cotai-based venture, which has seen significant construction difficulties delay its initially predicted 2016 opening, is now expected to deliver an operational casino floor within the next six months.

“Regarding Grand Lisboa Palace, we hope to finish that project by next year,” said vice chairman and CEO, Ambrose So Shu Fai, “so that in the first half [2019], we have sufficient conditions to apply for the operation permit from the government.”

The 2000 room property will also benefit from SJM reallocating some of its existing table stock, drawing from a pool of 291 VIP tables and 1,408 mass market tables currently operated by the company.

The application came as So predicted upcoming Macau market growth, thanks to the opening of the new Hong Kong-Zhuhai- Macau Bridge which will increase the number of tourists visiting the city.

Regardless of the market’s size, SJM may well struggle to drive its own market percentage up, having seen consistent decreases in its share of Macau’s GGR since 2010, from 29 percent in 2011 to 16.1 percent last year.

The appointment of former deputy COO for Resorts World Genting Paul Baker as president of the Grand Lisboa Palace in October was intended to revitalise the ill-fated IR’s image.

Baker may find it difficult, however, to compete with analyst San- ford Bernstein’s recently projection of “poor value creation for the Grand Lisboa Palace.”