The Macau Metro Monitor, September 17, 2012
LAND FREEZE FOR CASINOS STILL ON: FRANCIS TAM Macau Business
Secretary Tam said that the freeze on new land for casinos continues to remain in place. In 2008, Macau CEO Edmund Ho Hau Wah announced a freeze on new land for casinos but pledged to honour existing agreements with operators. That included all casino projects filed before 2008 and still under consideration. But Mr Tam said that any gaming operator could still file requests to the gaming regulator to open new casinos, if it didn’t involve a land grant.
According to some analysts, this is how MPEL is likely to include a casino at its Studio City project in Cotai. This method has previously been allowed for gambling facilities in new hotel-casinos that are not fully-owned by a gaming operator, as it is the case of Studio City. Because the land is granted to companies that don’t have a casino licence (or are not fully-owned subsidiaries of a concessionaire), the inclusion of gaming facilities in the land contract could raise legal issues.
In such cases, the request to include a casino is therefore made separately from the land concession request, and by a licenced gaming operator. The gaming licence holder requests government approval to operate gambling facilities as a service provider at those properties. This is the kind of arrangement that allowed the Ponte 16 and L’Arc casino-hotels to accommodate gaming facilities.
SJM WANTS TO HAVE 600 TABLES IN COTAI Macau Business
CEO Ambrose So said SJM wants to have up to 600 live gaming tables in Cotai.
GUANGZHOU TO ZHUHAI RAILWAY COMMENCED IN OCTOBER Macau Daily News
The Guangzhou-Zhuhai Intercity Railway between Jinding and Gongbei, will be operational in October. The extension connecting Gongbei and Hengqin will open by the end of 2012. Guangdong and Macau has reached an agreement on the route design so that the extended section will have a seamless connection with Macau's light rail system. The next extension project will connect Hengqin with the Zhuhai Airport.
GONGBEI PORT EXPANSION TO BE COMPLETED BY END OF 2012 Macau Daily News
Phase I of the Gongbei port expansion project is expected to be finished in early 2013, expecting to handle a daily passenger capacity of up to 350,000 and when the entire project is completed, the clearance capacity can be raised to 500,000 people daily.
SINGAPORE PRIVATE HOME SALES DOWN 27% IN AUGUST Reuters
Developers in Singapore sold 1,421 residential units last month excluding executive condominiums (EC), a category of apartments reserved mainly for Singaporeans, down from 1,946 in July, but higher than 1,371 in June. Including ECs, August home sales was 1,539 units, down 25.7% from July. The decline in home sales in August could have been partly due to the Hungry Ghost Month which typically sees fewer buyers in the market.
MAINLAND CONSIDERING MULTI-ENTRY VISA FOR ZHUHAI CITIZENS Macau Daily News
Beijing is considering to grant Zhuhai citizens multi-entry visa to Macau, however, a timetable for such is yet to be confirmed. Responsible authorities are still studying on the feasibility and consulting the Macau government to assess whether the checkpoint could handle the passenger capacity and also whether Macau can handle an increase in tourist arrivals. Qualified permanent residents account for 1 million.