Rio Hotel management criticizes Galaxy’s lack of negotiation to avoid casino closure

Rio Entertainment Ltd, the company responsible for the Rio hotel has published an advertisement in which it states that the gaming operator Galaxy Entertainment Group has never attempted to negotiate a possible renewal of the cooperation agreement which could allow its casino to continue to operate.

As reported yesterday, Galaxy will be closing the three satellite casinos under its gaming license and City Club brand at the Rio, President and Waldo hotels, with respective staff expected to relocate to other group properties.

These three casinos employ around 600 people, most of them working in the Rio and Waldo casinos.

While Rio and President casinos have suspended operations since June 15, TDM Radio reported that Waldo has already submitted a request to do the same by the end of the month.

In a half-page advertisement published in the Chinese language newspaper Macao Daily today (Friday), Rio Entertainment Ltd claims to have received a notice from Rio Casino months ago that GEG had ceased operations and proposed to shut it down on June 15 before the concessionaire’s license expiration date of June 26, 2022.

The current six gaming concessions and sub-concessions were all due to end on June 26, but a six-month extension has already been agreed by Macao SAR authorities to allow for the passage of the new gambling law amendment. games and a new tender for the gaming license. be carried out.

As reported by Allin Media earlier this month, Galaxy reportedly expressed willingness to continue exploring gaming businesses in Rio and Waldo under the rental establishment model, however, the proposed rent was reportedly too high, which prompted Galaxy not to accept the revival.

“During the process, the dealer never negotiated with our company to approve the renewal of cooperation, and never offered the company to lease the space to continue operations, so the rumors suggesting that the request for landlord’s rent was too high are untrue,” Rio Entertainment said in the addition.

The company then proceeds to “thank the public, customers and people from all walks of life for their love and support of Rio Casino over the years”.

The 450-room Rio Hotel in the NAPE area was founded by Rio Hotel Limited in 2006, with local real estate tycoon Loi Keong Kuong as the company’s sole major shareholder.

Loi was also involved in the development of the One Grantai luxury housing complex on the Taipa Grande mountain.

Company records show real estate businessman Sio Tak Hong had been involved in the board and administration of the company in its early days, but left the company before it opened of the property.

An earlier report by Exmoo News suggested that the Rio Hotel in NAPE had been put up for sale for MOP 2 billion ($247 million) along with its casino by a local consultancy agency.

Last month, the Rio Hotel Macau Sauna Place also ceased operations and its employees were made redundant with severance pay, according to a report by online media Allin news.

Several satellite casinos are rumored to be closed after further changes were announced as part of a future amendment to the current gaming law, with Rio and President closings being the first to take place.

The first draft amendment to the Gaming Act stipulated that within a three-year transition period, casino properties owned by independent investors should either be acquired by one of six potential concessionaires or be permanently closed.

The Chinese-language Macau Daily News reported on March 24 that seven satellite casinos planned to cease operations by the middle of the year, due to tight visa requirements in Macau, lack of cash and the negative impact of repeated pandemic outbreaks, with four of the casinos that were to be closed believed to be linked to Chan Meng Kam’s Golden Dragon Group.

Macau Gaming and Entertainment Promoters Association chairman Kwok Chi Chung also said he had received reports that six to eight satellite casinos are expected to cease operations by the end of June.

However, according to a new version of the bill provided later by the authorities, even if the ownership where the satellite casino is located is not fully transferred to the gaming concessionaire, the casino could continue to operate as a management entity. , if a contract is established with the operator and approved by the general manager.

The companies currently in charge of the satellite casinos will then have three years to establish a contract with a concessionaire and continue to operate the establishment.

However, under the new regulations, these management entities will only be able to charge management expenses and will not be allowed to share a percentage or commission on gaming revenue.

The Grand Emperor Hotel casino was previously scheduled to close on June 26, but after an agreement between hotel owner Emperor Entertainment Hotel Limited and concessionaire SJM, the casino will continue to operate until December 31.

Two satellite casinos at Macau Fisherman’s Wharf will also continue operations until at least December 31, as the agreement with gaming concessionaire SJM has also been extended for six months, revealed Melinda Cha, CEO of Macau Legend.

The final version of the gambling law amendment is expected to be sent to the plenary for voting no earlier than June 21.

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