Takeaway: There are other ways for LVS to skin the table cap cat

Helping casinos cope with the Macau table cap



There has been a lot of chatter recently on how Macau casinos will overcome the table cap of 5,500, which is in effect until the end of March 2013.  First off, it's not a law, it's government stipulation that can be changed at any time.  One way casinos are helping to overcome this stipulation is through the placement of "super tables' each of which seats 12 people with two dealers, compared to 6-8 positions on a traditional Macau table with one dealer.


Here is our count of Macau super tables:







At the end of Q2, there were 5,498 tables reported by the Macau government.  The cap has been a concern for LVS investors in particular with the opening of Phase 2 on September 20th.  Sands China is already the most aggressive with the new product to free up room for the additional 200 tables expected at Sands Cotai Central in late 2012/early 2013. 


SCC isn’t likely to get their new table allocations until December or January 2013.  In the meantime, they can increase the table count above the cap during Golden Week.  The good news is that the number of tables that SCC originally opened with was too high so they moved a lot of those tables back to Venetian where they are more productive.  When Ph2 opens next week they will move some of those back and take some from Sands.  What that means is that on weekends and peak times, Sands’ properties will be running at overcapacity, however, most of the time, the table shortage will not impact them as there are plenty of under-utilized tables.




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