Macau-based casino operator MGM China is embarking on property renovations with a focus on arts and cultural spaces, aligning with its commitment to aid in diversifying the city's economy. The company plans to enhance both its casino hotels – MGM Macau and MGM Cotai – to accommodate artistic experiences and non-gaming activities.
MGM Macau is set to reconstruct 60,000 sq ft on its first floor to host performances, fashion events, and exhibitions, South China Morning Post reported. Meanwhile, MGM Cotai will allocate 100,000 sq ft for art galleries, installations by collaborating artists, thematic dining, and a variety of non-gaming programs. Completion of these renovations is expected by the fourth quarter of 2024.
MGM China is also awaiting approval from the Macau government to expand MGM Cotai by an additional half a block for thematic projects, though details are yet to be disclosed.
MGM China's Pansy Ho Chiu-king
“We’ve added many elements to our hotels since the border reopened. From the beginning of our construction, we wanted to create something different, not the usual casino hotel. But a tourist destination, a vehicle for culture and art,” Pansy Ho Chiu-king, MGM China’s chairperson and executive director, was quoted as saying in the report.
In compliance with their latest concession agreements, the six casino license holders in Macau –MGM Grand Paradise, Galaxy Casino, Venetian Macau, Melco Resorts Macau, Wynn Resorts Macau, and SJM Resorts – are mandated to emphasize non-gaming elements such as sports, arts, and cultural events, as well as health and community tourism. The operators are collectively investing over 100 billion patacas (approximately $12.37 billion) to aid in steering Macau's economy away from heavy reliance on gaming.
MGM China, listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, owns MGM Grand Paradise and is controlled by US casino giant MGM Resorts International Holdings. The renovations at both MGM Macau and MGM Cotai are part of a 15 billion patacas initiative designated for non-gaming ventures, within a total new investment of 16.7 billion patacas.
During the second quarter of 2023, MGM China's properties reported a robust recovery in business, surpassing the broader market's improvement. Visits to both properties rebounded to 95% of pre-pandemic levels observed in the second quarter of 2019. In contrast, the overall market managed to reach only 67%, as stated by MGM China, the South China Morning Post report notes.
Their daily gross gaming revenue also climbed to 98% of 2019 levels, outperforming the overall market's 62%. Additionally, hotel occupancy exceeded 90% during the same quarter, with most visitors opting for stays lasting more than two nights.