Macau is stirring with movers and shakers these days. Read up on the gambling capital’s latest top stories below.
Macau, China, and Hong Kong about to be linked to by controversial bridge
After 8 years of construction, the longest sea bridge is about to open on the Pearl River Delta linking Hong Kong, Zhuhai (mainland China’s southern city), and Macau. The bridge, aptly called the HKZMB, snakes 55 kilometers over open sea, with six lanes and four tunnels, one of which is underwater, and four artificial islands for support. According to reports, 420,000 tonnes of steel was used to build this engineering mastery, which is equivalent to 60 Eiffel Towers. As for the price, it is estimated to be in the vicinity of around US$15 billion.
This massive infrastructure was first proposed back in 1983 and since then, the idea never left the table. 26 years later, it finally broke ground in December 2009 with 2017 as the target year for opening. However as with all big undertakings, numerous problems caused the opening to be pushed back.
Through its years of construction, it faced environmental challenges, alleged corruption, budget overruns, but the worst of it were the casualties and injuries reported. This led to the bridge being coined “the bridge of blood and tears” or for some “the bridge of death”.
With the HKZMB very near completion, the next target date for vehicular traffic is July 1, 2018. The bridge is expected to see 40,000 vehicles daily though pedestrians and bicycle riders are prohibited. Once open, the bridge will reduce travel time significantly for commuters from 4.5 hours to just 45 minutes. HKZMB is expected to be in use for 120 years.
Galaxy acquires shares in Wynn Resorts
Macau-based Galaxy Entertainment Group (GEG) may rival with competitor Wynn Macau however that didn’t stop them from acquiring 5.3 million of new shares of the parent company Wynn Resorts at $175 per share for a total of $927.5 million. Unsurprisingly, this news sent a shockwave throughout the gaming sector tagged with undertones of the “changing of the guard”. In a press release on March 22, 2018, Wynn Resorts announced,
“Wynn Resorts, Limited (NASDAQ: WYNN) (the “Company”) announced today that it agreed to sell 5,300,000 newly issued shares of Company common stock (the “Common Stock”) at a price of $175 per share to Galaxy Entertainment Group in a public offering registered under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “1933 Act”).”
On the third week of March, Wynn founder and CEO, Steve Wynn, announced he was selling all of his shares of Wynn Resorts, a company of which he was the largest shareholder. This puts into question the fate of the highly esteemed brand.
Upon acquiring the shares, Galaxy Entertainment Group Vice Chairman, Francis Liu said,
“This is a unique opportunity to acquire an investment in a globally recognized entertainment corporation with exceptionally high quality assets and a significant development pipeline.”
GEG is one of the world’s leading hospitality and resort companies with three facilities in Macau namely StarWorld Macau, Galaxy Macau, and Broadway Macau. This recent acquisition further strengthens their footing and image in the gambling capital especially with their intentions of expanding to other parts of Asia. Days prior, GEG was given the green light for an integrated resort in Boracay, one of the most popular beach destinations for both tourists and locals in the Philippines.
Gaming revenue keep growing
For the 20th consecutive month, Macau has reported gains with the month of March up 22 percent. This is much higher than the predicted 13 – 14 percent. Research analysts surmise that the gaming industry’s continued rise is partially due to post-Chinese New Year and after-effects of the National People’s Congress meetings. According to a story in Macau News Agency,
“Union Gaming believes the results ‘sharply accelerated’ after the National People’s Congress (NPC) meetings in Beijing, which ran from March 5 to 20, were concluded, with the investment bank expecting ‘this momentum to carry forward into April as additional pent-up demand works its way through the system before returning to a normalised state.’”
Union Gaming also predicts that Macau will maintain its 20 percent average with the VIP sector a strong driving force for the second quarter of the year.
Article by Triccia David