Galaxy Entertainment Group, which is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, is venturing outside of Asia to invest in the Europe gambling market.
The casino operator is set to purchase a five-percent stake in Societe des Bains de Mer et du Cercle des Etrangers a Monaco (SBM) from an independent third party, this according to an email statement issued earlier this month. At this point in time, both the party selling and the purchase price are unknown.
Additionally, LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, the world’s largest luxury-goods maker, stated that it would be purchasing a five-percent stake in SBM. After these purchases, Monaco itself will remain the largest shareholder of SBM, which owns Monaco-based properties including the Casino de Monte-Carlo (pictured), the Casino Café de Paris, along with luxury hotels, restaurants, bars, night clubs, spas, beach and golf clubs. According to Wikipedia.org, 52 out of the 58 properties owned by SBM are located in Monaco.
Galaxy spokesperson Peter Caveny told swissinfo.ch that, "We see it as a potential to develop a strategic long-term partnership with them."
Galaxy, which is known for its ownership in Macau casino operations including StarWorld Macau, Galaxy Macau, and Broadway Macau, will now try to diversify its portfolio in light of a 14-month downswing in gaming revenues in the city after almost a decade of growth.
Macau's decline is sharp and expected to continue due to restrictions on visas from mainland China — from which most gaming tourists hail — a looming smoking ban, along with a political crackdown by the Chinese government. To put things in perspective, Revenue in July 2015 declined by a staggering 34.5 percent when compared to revenues in July 2014. This follows a similar decline of 36.2 percent in revenues when comparing June 2015 to June 2014.
While Galaxy is looking to diversify outside of Asia, this isn't to say it's all doom and gloom in Macau. Recently Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. announced plans to open a new $3.2 billion casino in Macau on October 27, Sands China Ltd. Chairman Sheldon Adelson is moving ahead with his new planned $2.7 billion Parisian Resort, and Steve Wynn's Wynn Palace is scheduled to begin operations on March 25, 2016.
Image courtesy of Wikipedia.org.