The four satellite casinos operated by former Macau legislator Chan Meng Kam’s Golden Dragon Group are said to be among seven satellites planning to close their doors this year ahead of expected amendments to the city’s gaming law.
Following a report by Macao Daily late last week claiming seven casinos would cease operations by mid-2022, Chinese-language media outlet Allin Media named those seven as including Golden Dragon Group’s Casino Golden Dragon, Casino Royal Dragon and Casino Million Dragon – all operating under the license of SJM Resorts – and Grand Dragon Casino which operates under the license of Melco Resorts.
The other three casinos said to be closing are those operated under Galaxy Entertainment Group – Casino Waldo, Rio and President Casino – while Allin claims other satellites are set to follow in the coming months.
The issue of Macau’s satellite casino industry was keenly debated during recent discussions on the first draft of the gaming law by a Standing Committee of Macau’s Legislative Assembly (AL).
The amended gaming law includes a stipulation that concessionaires must in future “operate games of chance in casinos in a location where it holds ownership of the real estate,” suggesting they would need to acquire some or all of Macau’s 18 satellites if those properties are to continue operating.
A three-year grace period would be introduced for existing satellite arrangements should the concessionaire under whose license they currently operate be awarded a new concession in the upcoming tender process, starting from the first effective day of operations under the new concessions.
This would likely mean early 2023 after the government recently revealed its intention to extend the expiration date of current concessions by six months from 26 June 2022 until 31 December 2022.
However, it seems unlikely that the current six concessionaires would acquire many, if any at all, of Macau’s satellite casinos which lack both the scale and grandeur of their own integrated resorts.