Proposal submitted to govt. for approval

Macau: Ponte 16 Casino extension project estimated to cost up to $77 million

Reading time 1:15 min

The long-anticipated extension of Macau's Ponte 16 Casino is estimated to cost between 515 million and 618 million patacas (approximately US$64 million to US$77 million).

The information was relayed by Hoffman Ma, chairman of Hong Kong-listed Success Universe Group, which holds a 49 percent stake in the Inner Harbour leisure complex. The remaining 51 percent and the gaming license for Ponte 16 are under the control of concessionaire SJM Holdings, The Macao News reported.

Ma revealed that the plans for the extension, referred to as Phase 3, have been submitted to the government for approval. Additionally, a budget exceeding 100 million patacas ($12.42 million) has been allocated for the renovation of the Sofitel Macau hotel on the property, with funding sourced from Ponte 16's gaming operations.

In a related development, a revamped Macau Palace, formerly a floating casino featured in a James Bond movie, is poised to become part of the Ponte 16 complex. The objective is to reopen this iconic structure as a dining destination, retail space, and a museum of gaming culture, according to previous reports.

The reports come as Macau witnessed a record influx of tourists earlier this month during the Lunar New Year holiday, particularly fueled by a surge in travel demand from mainland China, indicating a potentially lucrative month for casinos in the world's largest gambling hub.

The city documented approximately 1.08 million visitor arrivals in the first six days of the week-long holiday that commenced on February 10, based on provisional government data. This reflects a 3.7% increase from the corresponding period in 2019 and stands as the highest figure since at least 2017 when daily data for peak seasons became available.

As per Citigroup’s latest research report, Macau’s casino industry could generate MOP231.3 billion ($29 billion) in gross gaming revenue in 2024. According to the analysts, the full-year forecast suggests a 79 percent recovery from pre-Covid 2019 figures.

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