Macau’s Grand Lisboa Casino Resort Set for Extensive Revamp by SJM Resorts

SJM Resorts is set to invest a significant portion of its non-gaming funds into renovating its flagship casino resort, Grand Lisboa, in Macau. As the oldest gaming operator in Macau, SJM is looking to update its property to remain competitive in the market.

SJM Resorts Grand Lisboa casino Macau
An aerial view of Grand Lisboa in downtown Macau. The integrated casino resort is set for a major renovation from its owner, SJM Resorts. (Image: Xinhua)

SJM – formerly known as SJM Holdings – was founded by Stanley Ho, the “King of Gambling” who held a monopoly on casino gambling in Macau for many years. After the city was returned to Chinese control, the government welcomed new gaming operators, ending Ho’s monopoly.

Last year, SJM and its competitors received new 10-year gaming licenses from the Macau Special Administrative Region (SAR) government. To maintain their gaming privileges, the operators were required to collectively invest $13.5 billion into non-gaming projects.

Each operator’s investment allocation was based on their market share. SJM, with the smallest market share among the six operators at 12%, is responsible for investing MOP12 billion (US$1.5 billion) in non-gaming projects.

SJM Market Share Decline

Grand Lisboa, opened in 2007, remains SJM’s flagship property in downtown Macau. However, revenues have declined since 2015 as the primary resort corridor shifted to the Cotai Strip, where competitors like Sands, Melco, Galaxy, MGM, and Wynn have opened luxurious integrated resorts.

SJM’s market share decline can be attributed to its lack of presence on the Cotai Strip. To rectify this, the company constructed the Grand Lisboa Palace in Cotai, but the pandemic delayed its opening until July 2021.

Grand Lisboa Renovation

SJM Resorts, unlike its competitors, is solely focused on Macau. The company aims to improve its presence in Cotai while also updating the original Grand Lisboa to cater to its current market in downtown Macau.

Daisy Ho, the chair of SJM and one of Stanley Ho’s children, announced that a major renovation of Grand Lisboa will begin early next year. The focus will be on updating the hotel rooms and suites, without changing the room count. The renovation will also bring new restaurants to the resort.

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