rancis Tam Pak Yuen, assured this week that the government will not loosen up its 5,500-table cap on the number of live gaming tables, to expire only in 2013. At the end of September, Macau had a total of 5,379 live gaming tables, only 121 tables short of the government’s 5,500 table-cap.
The number of tables will stay within 5,500 through 2013 and will annually increase 3 percent in the 10 years after 2013, Tam said.
Sands China alone expects to open two new casinos in 2012. The company aims to open the first phase of its Sands Cotai Central development in March. It will include a 9,850 square-metre casino and VIP gaming areas. The firm expects to open a second casino there by the third quarter of next year.
“We said last year that the number of gaming tables will be maintained at 5,500 [until 2013]. It is still our goal to maintain that number and we are still on target,” said Mr Tam. “Right now we don’t see any reasons to change it,” the official added.
Mr Tam didn’t disclose the number of live gaming tables Sands China has applied for at Sands Cotai Central. The secretary for economy and finance also stressed that once the 5,500-table cap expires in 2013, growth in the number of tables will be limited to 3 percent per year for at least 10 years.