Bill Hornbuckle says GMM Limited‘s bid for one of Macau’s six casino licences must be treated seriously.
Macau.- MGM president and CEO Bill Hornbuckle has stressed that the outside contender for one of Macau’s six casino licences shouldn’t be underestimated. Speaking at the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) in Las Vegas, Hornbuckle told CNBC that GMM Limited’s bid should be taken “very seriously”.
GMM Limited is a company linked to Lim Kok Thay, chairman of Genting Group, which operates casino resorts in Malaysia, Singapore and elsewhere. Many observers believe that it’s unlikely that Macau will leave out any of its six current casino operators, giving GGM’s surprise bid only an outside chance.
As for MGM’s bid, Hornbuckle said the company “is answering the government’s calls about diversification, about entertainment, about tourism, and the kinds of things we think are going to drive that market in the future. And the government has its own choice to make when this process is over.”
He stressed: “It’s not only our company: it’s all six concessionaires. We have been very good to the community and the community to us, the Macau government extensively.”
The CEO added: “We have been highly supportive throughout [the pandemic], in taking care of our employees, taking care of all of our SMEs small and medium-sized enterprises that we deal with. And so I think we the incumbents are all in really good shape.”
Macau casino bidders reportedly told to increase investment in non-gaming
Authorities in Macau have held meetings with each of the concession bidders. Little has emerged about their content, but analysts at Credit Suisse (Hong Kong) suggest that the process is not as straightforward as operators may have hoped.
Analysts said the government has rejected some ideas put forward by the bidders and is requesting higher investment in non-gaming projects. The government reportedly also wants operators to provide clear spending timetables.
In September, Macau reiterated its aim to have the results of the retender ready in time to issue new licences by the end of the year.