Posted on: November 27, 2020, 10:33h.
Last updated on: November 27, 2020, 10:53h.
Sands China’s Londoner Macau is nearing completion and is on pace to open in February, potentially positioning the venue to capitalize on rebounding traffic next year in the world’s largest casino center.
Wilfred Wong, president of Sands China, commented to local media earlier this week that the $2 billion refresh of Sands Cotai Central is nearly ready to go. Most of the major construction is complete and just some minor external projects are to be finalized.
Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, Londoner was scheduled to come online this year and into 2021. The project is part of Sands’ effort to add approximately two million square feet of luxurious suite accommodations on the Cotai Strip. Las Vegas Sands, the parent company of Sands China, is the largest Macau operator, with five integrated resorts there.
Londoner jibes with the operator’s plans to bring more non-gaming attractions to Macau. They are heeding prodding from local politicians that want to reduce the special administrative region’s dependence on casino revenue ahead of the 2022 license renewals.
In the re-construction and transformation of Londoner Macao, we added a concert hall and various dining venues, and have always headed in the direction of diversification and non-gaming elements,” said Wong.
As of Sept. 30, LVS has $3.45 billion in cash, making it one of the financially sturdiest companies in the industry. That’s while positioning it to forge ahead with expansion projects in Macau and Singapore, its two most vital markets.
Could Be Good Timing
News that Londoner will be open to the public in February could amount to good timing for the operator and the Cotai Strip in general.
After months of sagging gross gaming revenue (GGR) and visitation numbers caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Macau is finally showing some signs of life late in 2020. Analysts are highlighting factors such as vibrancy among mass and premium mass players — Sands China’s marquee demographics.
With 2021 right around the coroner, there are other potential catalysts that could help Londoner Macau get off to a strong start. Soon, travelers will be able attain individual visit scheme (IVS) visas via self-service kiosks, which will reduce lengthy approval periods.
Additionally, analysts believe the emergence of a coronavirus vaccine and enhanced testing capabilities will be a boost. That, coupled with the reopening of the Hong Kong/Macau border and elimination of the quarantine policy between the autonomous regions, will spark increased visits to the gaming center.
As its name implies, the new Sands venue will be UK-themed, with its architecture mirroring that of the Houses of Parliament and the front part of the property featuring a replica of the famous Big Ben clock tower.
Inside, there will be over 6,000 guest rooms spread across four hotels. The casino area isn’t scheduled to change immediately, still featuring 450 table games and 2,000 slots. But Sands China indicated more gaming amenities could be added in the future.
News of Londoner’s opening time line comes as most Macau operators posted break-even earnings before interest, taxes, deprecation and amortization (EBITDA) in October, and are trending incrementally positive this month.