SJM Holdings Executive Director and CEO, Dr Ambrose So, says the company is confident it can gain significant market share in Cotai despite being the last of Macau’s six concessionaire’s to establish a presence in the city’s new gaming hub.
SJM will become the only license holder yet to open a Cotai integrated resort once MGM launches MGM Cotai on 29 January 2018, with Grand Lisboa Palace still fighting to meet its own late 2018 deadline.
Despite this, Dr So told Inside Asian Gaming that the company expected to become a strong competitor in the Cotai market, pointing to its strength in the Peninsula as an example of SJM’s capabilities.
“I think that’s realistic because we are already set up in the Peninsula where we are holding around 30% market share,” he said. “They are both different markets (the Peninsula and Cotai) but we expect to compete in both markets.”
The construction of Grand Lisboa Palace has been plagued by bad luck in 2017, leading industry experts to predict a delay in opening until early 2019. The property suffered damage in August when the T10-level Typhoon Hato struck Macau and has been the victim of two suspected arson attacks during the course of the year. Construction was also halted for six weeks from late June after a 47-year-old worker fell to his death.
Despite this, Dr So again expressed his belief that Grand Lisboa Palace will meet its 2018 opening deadline and said the company had increased its safety and security efforts in recent months.
“We have stepped up security, especially the safety of workers there and other accidents that might happen,” he said. “We have stepped that up. We are working very hard and diligently and are working with contractors to meet the target.”