SJM Holdings (Sociedade de Jogos de Macau), the leading casino operator in Macau is still in first place as regards income from casino gambling. There are six licensed casino operators since 2002 in Macau, which is the only Chinese territory where gambling is permitted. At one time, the group set up in 1962 and owned by Stanley Ho and his family had the full monopoly over casinos in Macau.
Even though the market opened up eleven years ago to allow overseas casino companies to apply for a licence, Ho’s company signed an agreement with the Macau government to operate casinos in the territory until March 2020 and out of the casinos now constructed, SJM Holdings operates a large percentage.Since SJM Holdings is a subsidiary of Stanley’s original company, the group owns several casinos that were built many years ago and the present Chief Executive Officer of the company, A. So is hoping that these older casinos may be exempted from the proposed smoking ban in Macau’s casinos. He claims that the way these casinos were constructed causes problems putting in place the necessary changes needed to fulfil the requirements of the part ban on smoking now in place in Macau.
The government is considering a full smoking ban in land based casinos to be brought in in January 2016 based on results from the part ban. Earlier this year the authorities pointed out several casinos in Macau which were breaching the new regulations and of these just over half of the casinos were run by SJM Holdings. Under the partial ban, casinos are expected to make half of the casino’s area non – smoking. When a full ban came into place in land based casinos in the United States, income from gambling fell by about 20% as a result.
However, SJM Holdings which has seen income from its casinos reach its second highest amount ever in August this year, is hoping that it’s new casino complex on the Cotai Strip will increase its market share even more when it is completed in about three years time. For the moment, even with concerns about the effects of a complete smoking ban, SJM is coming in ahead of the five other casino operators in Macau with Sands China coming in second place.