The six major casino operators in Macau could soon be turning their focus to Coloane to develop new casinos in the region. Gaming operators have focused on developing casinos in the Cotai district during the past few years with Wynn Resorts opening out its Wynn Palace in August, Las Vegas Sands Corp opening its Parisian Macao in September and MGM Resorts scheduled to open its MGM Cotai casino resort in 2017.
The Coloane area is sometimes referred to as the ‘green lung’ of the Macau Special Administrative Region (SAR) and is a semi-rural place situated on the southern end of the SAR. Cotai itself is reclaimed land on a shallow bay between Coloane and Taipa, thus “CoTai”.
The 13 Holdings Ltd which is listed on the Hong Kong Stock exchange and was formerly known as Louis XIII Holdings Ltd is in the process of developing The 13 Hotel along the Cotai-Coloane border. Based on the company’s recent comments, there is no indication of a casino but the company had indicated in the past that it intends to open a casino on the property. Stephen Hung (洪永時) Joint Chairman of The 13 Holdings Limited (577.HK) is also vice-chairman of Rio Entertainment Group, which operates the Rio Hotel & Casino in Macau under the Galaxy Casino, S.A. concession.
Lionel Leong Vai Tac, the Secretary for Economy and Finance in Macau recently addressed the Legislative Assembly during a debate on the 2017 Macau government’s policy address and stated that the city would take into consideration public opinion about permitting casinos to operate in Coloane. Leong stated that Macau’s six major casino operators were permitted to apply for a casino license in Coloane and that the urban department of the Land, Public Works and Transport Bureau in Macau would make the decision as to whether any proposed casino would be in line or against the government’s plans to develop the Coloane area.
Only after the Land, Public Works and Transport Bureau makes a decision on the casino proposal, will it be sent to the government for a final decision. Leong did not confirm which, if any, of the six casino operators were interested in developing a casino in Coloane but stated that all of them were eligible as long as their proposal complied with all the existing regulations. While The 13 Hotel has so far not given any indication of opening a casino, the company could still put in a request to the Macau government for permission to open a casino.
In a statement to GGRAsia, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau in Macau confirmed “As of now, we have not yet received from any one of the gaming concessionaires a request to open a new casino in The 13 hotel location.”
In September 2016, the developer of the 13 Hotel stated that the opening of the hotel would be delayed till early 2017 but did not reveal the reasons for the delay. The 13 Hotel is an ultra-luxury 200 all-villa hotel where the average cost of construction for each room is around $7 million making it perhaps the most expensive hotel in the world per suite.