MGM Resorts Receives 2022 Extension for Macau Casino License
MGM Resorts received an extension to its Macau casino gambling license through June 2022 by the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) of Macau. The additional 25-month extension of MGM Resorts’ gaming license is a huge signal that the Las Vegas casino company will operate in Macau throughout the 2020’s.
Previously, MGM Resorts’ license was set to expire in a little over one year’s time, in May 2020. The extension not only gives MGM Resorts executives and shareholders another two-plus years of revenues, but also is a possible clue that the DICJ favors MGM Resorts as much as the other casino operators in the city.
Parity with LVS, Wynn Resorts
Las Vegas Sands (LVS) Corp. and Wynn Resorts also face the expiration of their casino gaming licenses in Macau, but had the same June 2022 expiration date that MGM Resorts now has. The Gaming Inspection Bureau’s decision to extend MGM Resorts puts it on an even footing with its competitors.
For years, LVS’s Sands China Ltd. appeared to have the inside track with Macau officials. While Wynn Resorts CEO Steve Wynn criticized officials about the baccarat table allotments at Wynn Palace and MGM Cotai saw its grand opening delayed numerous times, Sands China received twice the baccarat tables for the Parisian Macau gaming space that its competitors did. Sheldon Adelson, Chairman of Las Vegas Sands, praised Chinese officials for their vision.
Wynn Resorts 2022 License Renewal
One can understand why MGM Resorts is considered a more stable business than Wynn Resorts, since that company has faced a scandal in the past year involving its founder and former CEO, Steve Wynn. After a January 2018 in the Wall Street Journal publicized accusations by multiple current and former Wynn Resorts employees of sexual misconduct by Steve Wynn, he stepped down as CEO and divested himself of all Wynn stock. Mr. Wynn also denied all wrongdoing.
Whatever the case, Steve Wynn’s resignation could not but hurt the company in the Chinese gaming sector. Steve Wynn had developed relationships with Macau officials over a 15-year period. He also was the chairman of the RNC’s Finance Committee, which gave him political cachet in the United States and abroad.
About MGM Resorts in Macau
MGM Resorts International operates two multi-billion dollar resorts in Macau: MGM Macau and MGM Cotai. The Las Vegas company opened MGM Cotai last year, so any loss of license would have been a disaster for the company’s shareholders. While it would sell the properties to other operators, the company would have to do so in a fire sale at lower-than-market values.
Though Macau gaming accounts for a large percentage of the company’s revenues, it has an impressive portfolio of properties in the United States. In Las Vegas, MGM Resorts International operates iconic casinos like MGM Grand, Bellagio, and Mandalay Bay.
Besides its Las Vegas resorts, the company owns several famous and profitable casinos on the American east coast. MGM National Harbor near Washington DC, MGM Springfield in Western Massachusetts, and Borgata in Atlantic City. MGM Resorts also signed partnership deals with the NBA and MLB in the wake of the US Supreme Court repealing a federal ban on sports betting, so the company’s sportsbooks and sports betting apps should become leaders in the US bookmaker industry.
Still, the extension of the MGM Resorts’ casino license in Macau is huge news for investors and executives alike.