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The Macau Metro Monitor, February 8, 2013

MACAU FULLY-BOOKED Macau Daily Times, Macau Business

Gamblers booked into Macau resorts over the Lunar New Year can already count themselves lucky as accommodations are sold out, boosting revenue for operators.  Seventeen major casino hotels in the world’s biggest gambling hub were fully-booked for Feb. 12-14 for the weeklong Chinese holiday that begins on Feb. 10.  "Demand for hotel rooms is exceptionally strong with 100% occupancy," said Yoko Ku, a spokeswoman at Galaxy Entertainment. 

Total visitor arrivals from February 5 to February 7 reached over 316,000, up by 6.2% compared with the same period last year, according to the Tourist Office. Close to 246,000 of those visitors came from the mainland, an increase of 13%.

Last year during the Lunar New Year holidays, a five-star hotel room cost, on average, MOP2,400 (US$300) per night. This year, data submitted by the industry to the Tourist Office shows that the average room rate from February 11 to February 14 will stand at above MOP2,700.

STRICTER JUNKET RULES BRING NO HARM TO CASINOS: MGM CEO Macau Business

MGM China CEO Grant Bowie says that stricter regulation on junket operators, as announced by the government earlier this week, would not have any impact on VIP gaming revenue.  On the contrary, Bowie says it will ensure gamblers’ safety.

Commenting on the report by The Times that Beijing planned to crack down on triad-linked junket operators in the mainland, Bowie said he believed that Macau’s gaming industry would continue to get all the necessary support from the central and local governments.

SANDS CHINA ANNOUNCES PAY RISE Macau Business

Sands China announced it would increase the salaries of its employees by 5% starting next month. Additionally, the company said it is paying a bonus on February 14 to its staff, as a result of the company’s strong financial performance in 2012.  The gaming operator has over 25,000 employees.

NEW JERSEY AGENCY TO REVIEW FINDING AGAINST MGM WSJ

New Jersey regulators are set to reconsider a decision that had forced MGM to put its stake in an Atlantic City casino up for sale.  MGM planned Thursday to make a formal application for regulators to reconsider the Borgata investment.  The company planned to argue that the arrangement with Ms. Ho should be less troubling to regulators now because her influence and the size of her stake in the Macau business has decreased since the earlier investigation.


MGM is applying for licenses to build casinos in Maryland and Massachusetts and would like to remove a stain from its record ahead of those proceedings.  It also would like to retain its stake in the Borgata.

FIRST MANILA BAY CASINO TO OPEN NEXT MONTH Macau Business

Boasting 500 hotel rooms, the US$1.2-billion (MOP9.6 billion) Solaire Manila Resorts will open its doors on March 16.  Solaire plans to add 300 more hotel rooms after two years, said Bloomberry, a listed firm controlled by Philippine port tycoon Enrique Razon.