Macau Legend Shifting Away from Gambling, Looks to Sell Assets

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Macau's planned shift to relying less on casino gambling for its revenue has one company already shifting gears. Macau Legend Development Ltd, a Macau-based gaming company, recently revealed intentions to sell off its overseas ventures in Cambodia and Cape Verde by 2025 while revamping its operations in Macau.

Changing with the Times

In accordance with its ambition to lessen reliance on gambling, Macau Legend aims to prioritize the growth of non-gaming businesses. This strategic decision comes after successfully offloading the Laotian casino Savan Legend in June last year.

In pursuit of an amplified tourism allure, Macau Legend has joined forces with cruise companies in the Greater Bay Area, aiming to entice a surge of visitors to embark on their luxurious voyages. The president and CEO of Macau Legend, Li Chu Kwan, emphasized the company's profound devotion to a colossal enterprise centered within Macau.

Related: Analysts Confirm Macau Shifting Away from Gaming

Hong Kong media reports claim that Li has disclosed his intentions to enhance the non-gaming amenities within Macau's Fisherman Wharf. Among the upgrades envisioned are the incorporation of upscale clubs and exquisite spas.

Macau Legend, a satellite casino operator in Macau, faced a setback this year when it failed to finalize the acquisition of land in Cambodia. This thwarted its initial intention of establishing a new casino resort in the country. Moreover, its ambitious scheme of setting up a $271-million casino in Praia, Cape Verde, has faced multiple obstacles.

In September of last year, Macau Legend was the government's sole offering in the Cape Verde project, which commenced in 2016 and was projected to conclude by February 2021 before collapsing completely. The African nation has actively voiced its disapproval over the situation, accusing Macau Legend of failing to adhere to construction deadlines and investment commitments and threatening to sue.

Macau Legend Loses Financial Ground

Macau Legend incurred a loss of approximately HKD182.5 million (US$23.26 million) during the first half of 2023. In that period, the group experienced a significant decline in revenue, with a staggering 22.7% drop to HKD420.4 million (US$53.58 million).

Previously at the helm of Macau Legend, as its co-chairman, was Levo Chan, the ex-leader of the Tak Chun junket operator, who faced legal troubles in January 2022. Following this, he was convicted in April and received a prison sentence of 14 years. The charges laid against him encompassed a multitude of offenses, ranging from engaging in illegal gambling activities across various jurisdictions to participating in aggravated fraud and money laundering practices.

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