Melco Crown Ent. may get Macau casino license after all

Sep 24, 2012 6:46 PM

Last week, Macau gaming officials indicated Melco Entertainment Ltd. (MPEL) was out of luck as far as getting a casino license for its Studio City project on the Cotai Strip.

Just a few days later, that sentiment seemed to change.

Francis Tam, Macau’s secretary for Economy and Finance, confirmed for the first time that Studio City is among the operators who are eligible to apply for a new casino. In the past, Tam only mentioned Stanley Ho’s SJM, MGM Resorts International and Galaxy. Wynn Resorts Ltd. (WYNN) and Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS) have already received their approvals.

Explaining his MPEL reversal, Tam said the Studio City land was given to the company in 2003. “At the time of their first request,” said Tam, “they did not include any projects for casinos. It must be evaluated. This can’t be done fast.”

Ray Poirier is the longtime executive editor at GamingToday.

Contact Ray at Ray­[email protected].

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