Macau: SJM Holdings to Emerge As Market Leader Post-COVID

Article by : Helen Oct 1, 2020

As many cities worldwide, Macau has taken significant losses due to the coronavirus that shows no signs of disappearing anytime soon. Fortunately, economic recovery is on the horizon as people gear up to return to their lives pre-COVID while adhering to safety protocols. Even though the numbers are still way off, the idea of creating a sense of normalcy after the lockdown is exciting to many business owners.

In an unexpected turn of events, casino giant SJM Holdings could emerge as a market leader, according to the Singapore-based research firm, Smartkarma Innovations. According to their analysis, the change in dynamics happened not due to the company’s presence in the city but because of a new venue they acquired, slated to open soon. The timing also played a part; as it comes at the heels of a decline in COVID-19 infections and deaths when people are looking to get back to their favorite gambling hobbies.

As the government begins to lift travel restrictions, SJM Holdings is almost ready to introduce its incredible $5 billion property, Grand Lisboa Palace, to the world. The casino resort, which perches on the Cotai strip should have opened its doors to receive patrons earlier this year. However, concerns about the trajectory of the coronavirus and government-mandated lockdowns altered those plans. To stir up public interest and excitement, the company announced that the resort will begin operations in the first quarter of 2021.

We expect that when Grand Lisboa Palace opens, coupled with a slow recovery in sector gaming revenues from the pandemic, the immediate impact will be over-capacity, leading to market-share shifts among operators with SJM being the primary beneficiary.

Smartkarma Innovations on the impact SJM Holdings would have on the gambling scene post-COVID

There are various reasons for Smartkarma Innovations making such definitive assertions, considering how many casinos worldwide fared after resuming operations post-COVID shutdowns. In most cases, the casinos that reopened their doors saw a sudden influx of patrons eager to gamble. The revenue incurred were substantially higher than anticipated and increased the economic and social value of the casino. Per this observation, Smartkarma believes that the same could hold true for SJM Holdings once it is fully operational.

The research firm’s analysis of the gaming industry in Macau brushed against the Las Vegas Sands, as well. Smartkarma Innovations believes that through its Sands China arm in Asia, the company could climb up the ladder and, although by a long shot, possibly compete with SJM Holdings. This verdict follows the news of the casino converting its former Sands Cotai Central to the Londoner — a strategic move that will cause more activity than expected.

By opening up the revitalized Londoner property in phases “from financial year of 2020 financial year of 2021,” and adding features that include 290 suites at the Four Seasons, 600 suites at the Londoner Hotel, and 390 new suites at Londoner Court, the Las Vegas Sands’ strategic play could prove lucrative to investors and the company as a whole.

According to Forbes, SJM Holdings was founded in 2006 and primarily runs its business from Hong Kong. The company operates through two business segments—The Gaming Operations, which manages the casinos and related facilities, and the Hotel and Catering Operations, which focuses on hotel, catering, and other related services. After the opening of the Grand Lisboa Palace, guests can expect exceptional service that can fulfill all their gambling desires. The resort will also offer extraordinary scenic views set against modern architecture that reflects SJM Holdings’ luxurious brand.

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