The last major integrated resort scheduled to debut on the Cotai Strip, the Grand Lisboa Palace, opened its doors to the public at noon on Friday.
AGB attended the ceremony and had a sneak peek preview to the venue – see pictures of the premises below.
Despite the partial opening of SJM Resorts’ flagship property only being announced days earlier, the arrival of SJM to Cotai drew keen interest from the public, with a steady pick-up in visitors in the hours following the opening.
As announced, the property opened with 150 new-to-market gaming tables, all exclusively placed on the mass gaming floor. Speaking at the opening, SJM Chairman Daisy Ho said that SJM “will be relocating 118 of our own tables from other properties” on the peninsula to its new casino. These will be drawn both from the mass and VIP sections.
However the application for such had not yet been made.
“It will be a ramp up, and so we will be applying to the government very soon,” stated the Chairman, noting the group hopes to have the tables on site “shortly, within a month or so”.
“As to the allocation of mass and VIP, we are working on it,” she stated.
At least two floors within the Karl Lagerfeld hotel tower have been dedicated to VIP Gaming, while one floor within the Grand Lisboa Palace Hotel tower is also reserved for VIP Gaming.
The Palazzo Versace tower was not yet accessible to the public.
The group’s 2020 annual report indicated that SJM had an 8 percent share of VIP gaming revenue and a 14.1 percent share of Macau’s gross gaming revenue.
Both the Karl Lagerfeld and Palazzo Versace hotels are planned to be open – with 270 rooms and suites each, and the “entire Grand Lisboa Palace” is scheduled “to be open by the end of this year,” notes Daisy Ho, saying SJM is “looking at a very healthy ramping up”.
Checks of the casino revealed that about half of the 150 mass gaming tables on the casino floor were staffed, with a steady increase of punters in the hours following the opening.
However, given the low profile of the property’s debut, the scene was a far cry from the throngs of visitors witnessed at the opening of the seven other integrated resorts on the Cotai Strip.
In a stock exchange filing on Thursday, SJM announced that the gaming watchdog had approved 1,200 new slot machines for the new property but that there were “specific limits on the numbers that can be installed and be in operation at the time of opening.”
Checks of the casino found that a large number of slots were installed, however not all were 100 percent operational by mid-afternoon, unlikely to comprise the 1,200 total slots authorised for the venue.
In total about 300 of the rooms of the 1,350-room Grand Lisboa Palace hotel were available for booking on the opening day, with six restaurants also open to the public.
More F&B outlets are scheduled to open as the property ramps up.
The group’s retail offerings are only expected to come online in the coming months, including a 15,500 square metre “high-class department store” under the brand New Yaohan.
The department store is run by a wholly-owned subsidiary of SJM’s parent company STDM. A six-year agreement, which neither party in the deal is entitled to terminate, has been signed.
Scroll for a selection of sneak-peek photo gallery of the Grand Lisboa Palace opening.