Studio City International Holdings Limited has announced it will continue offering VIP rolling chip operation at its Macau integrated resort, Studio City, for another 12 months until 31 December 2021.
The move represents the second time Studio City has chosen to extend its VIP program after first revealing in early 2019 plans to cease VIP play.Although the company offered no reason for the decision at the time, analysts at brokerage Sanford C Bernstein suggested that Melco was looking to increase the profitability of each VIP table by moving them to a more suitable property, namely City of Dreams.
Instead, Studio City International Holdings extended VIP operations for another year in early 2020 and have now done so again, subject to termination by 30-day notice.
The extension of VIP rolling chip comes as Studio City continues with its US$1.3 billion Phase 2 development. The expansion project is due for completion by May 2022 under the terms of its land concession with the Macau SAR Government, however parent company Melco Resorts & Entertainment noted earlier this year that it may struggle to meet the deadline as a result of COVID-induced delays.
“Prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, we estimated a construction period of approximately 32 months for the remaining project,” Melco said. “With the disruptions from the Covid-19 outbreak, the construction period has been delayed and is expected to extend beyond the estimated 32 months and the current development period.
“In the event that additional time is required to complete the development of the remaining project for Studio City, we will have to apply for an extension of the relevant development period which shall be subject to Macau government review and approval at its discretion.”
Studio City underwent a change in leadership only last week, with Kevin Benning returning as Senior Vice President, Property General Manager after two years at City of Dreams Manila, replacing Geoff Andres.