A March 31 deadline for the opening of a casino at the “world’s most luxurious hotel” has come and gone with still no news and no revised deadline. That follows years of missed deadlines for the promoter of the distinctive, luxury resort that sits at Cotai’s southern tip.
It appears that the USD1.4 billion expense was not enough to ensure that the casino at The 13 Hotel would be operational in time to reach promoter South Shore Holdings’ March 31 deadline. As reported by Calvin Ayre, the lack of a new timetable is leading some analysts to suspect the operation is grossly behind schedule and could be delayed into 2020.
The hotel partially opened in August of last year, when 200 duplex suites and villas became available. However, the casino, which was expected to have 66 tables as well as shops, was not ready to open.
The hotel complex had already been a huge drain on South Shore Holdings. The company announced that in the six months prior to their September 30 filing that they had lost USD55.38 million. This loss was 18 times more than their loss at the previous point in 2017.
Several factors played a part in the reported loss, including “the increase in finance costs, depreciation and amortization charges and hotel operation expenses for the hotel segment compared with last year,” according to a report filed with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
The company had already reached an agreement with a casino operator to manage the operations of the venture, and some analysts question whether this agreement is in jeopardy with the delay. They had also set aside $44.8 million in equipment and supplies related to the opening of the casino, which now is on hold as they wait for the project to be completed. DB