Ambrose So ‘confident’ Golden Week can recover Hato losses

2017-10-04 08:05     Comment:1

Gaming operator SJM’s CEO Ambrose So Shu Fai said yesterday he was confident that the mainland’s eight-day “Super Golden Week” holiday will help his company pick up the business lost due to Super Typhoon Hato in August that temporarily shut down several of its gaming venues.

The “Super Golden Week” comprises the National Day and Mid-Autumn Festival.

So made the comments while speaking to the media at Macau Tower on the sidelines of his company’s cocktail reception to mark the 68th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

According to So, excluding lost gaming revenue, Hato’s impact caused SJM a loss of 200 million patacas, because several of SJM’s venues had to close down temporarily with Ponte 16 in the Inner Harbour severely affected as most of its computers and servers were in the basement that got flooded by Hato’s storm surge.

Asked by reporters for an estimate that would include gaming revenue lost due to Hato, So said, “How do I calculate that? We don’t
know what the winning bet was going to be that day [August 23].”

However, So said that the “few days” of typhoon-inducted closure of some of SJM’s casino premises due to the impact of Hato would not affect the company’s annual gaming revenue.

“We can catch up on it from the Golden Week, of course, I’m confident of it,” So said.

According to So, as yesterday was just three days into the eight day Golden Week holiday, the period was not long enough to say if business was going well but that with a high occupancy rate and lots of visitors, So said he hoped that all this would bring in more business.

So later added that, in general, gaming revenue from the mass market was catching up with the VIP market, almost reaching a 50:50 ratio.

In response to whether there should be more gaming concessions in Macau, So said that it was up to the local government and central
government’s consideration, but he said he believed that the number of concessions now was enough for Macau to develop into a world tourism and leisure centre.

Currently, Macau has three gaming concessions (SJM, Galaxy and Wynn) and three sub-concessions (Sands, Melco and MGM).

So also said his company was ready to coordinate with the government if the latter decided to cut down on the frequency of casino shuttle buses or adjust the pick-up and drop-off points outside the Barrier Gate checkpoint if that could reduce traffic congestion.

“It’s not going to affect [SJM’s business], as long as [the government] is fair to all six gaming operators,” So said.

In addition, asked whether SJM has stepped up its security measures following Sunday’s massacre in Las Vegas, So said that that
local gaming operators have been having regular meetings with the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) on how to upgrade their security systems, even before the slaughter in the US gaming hub.

“Such as a stricter security check at the entrances. We always have cameras around the casinos, so we can work on getting more angles,” So said of what SJM could do for tighter security measures.

SJM CEO Ambrose So Shu Fai speaks to the media on the sidelines of attending the company’s National Day reception at Macau Tower yesterday. Photo: MPDG


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