US businessman Steve Wynn expressed confidence that his casino company Wynn Resorts will continue conducting business in Macau after casino licenses begin to expire in 2020. Las Vegas-headquartered Wynn Resort, which is headed by Mr. Wynn, currently operates two casino in the Chinese administrative region – Wynn Macau and Wynn Palace.
During a conference call on Monday, the casino magnate said that his confidence was based on talks he has had with the government of Macau, the world’s largest gambling hub and the only Chinese territory where casino gambling is legal.
Casino operations are currently provided in the city by six concessionaires and sub-concessionaires, including Wynn Resorts. They were granted their licenses back in the early 2000s. The first batch of licenses is set to expire in 2020. The license of Wynn Resorts’ local subsidiary Wynn Macau will expire in 2022.
While the Macau government has not provided much information about when, how, and if the licenses will be renewed, Mr. Wynn said that there were no grounds for worries based on “the kind of conversations [they] have with the [Macau] government”.
Wynn Resorts reported its fourth-quarter results on Monday, highlighting its Macau business as the main contributor for a significant growth in revenue and earnings. The company generated a total of $144.3 million in earnings, 78% of which were said to have come from its Macau operations, and nearly $1.7 billion in revenue during the three months ended December 31, 2017.
Based on the performance of its Macau properties, particularly its Cotai Strip resorts, Mr. Wynn revealed plans to expand the property. Wynn Palace’s expansion will include the development of an adjacent 4.45-hectare portion of land on the Cotai Strip.
Despite the uncertainty surrounding the pending expiration of the casino licenses, Wynn Resorts has been encouraged by conversations with Macau lawmakers to start working on plans for Wynn Palace’s Phase 2.
Las Vegas Expansion Plans
Wynn Resorts’ Las Vegas properties performed poorer than their Macau counterparts, particularly given the fact that the city was trying to get on its feet during the fourth quarter of 2017 after the deadly October 1 shooting.
With the city looking for ways to recover, Wynn Resorts is planning to expand its presence on the Strip by opening a fourth hotel. Mr. Wynn revealed during the Monday conference call that the property will be located at the site of the former New Frontier Hotel & Casino. Wynn Resorts bought the portion of land from Australian business James Packer last year for the amount of $336 million. The new hotel will feature 2,000 room, and first renderings of how it would look are expected to be presented this summer. Mr. Wynn also said on Monday that their latest Strip hotel will be called Wynn West.
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