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Macau Government Honours Lawrence Ho for Outstanding Contribution to Tourism Sector

The Government of Macau has honoured the Hong Kong businessman Lawrence Ho, who is also the chief executive officer and chairman of Melco International and Melco Crown Entertainment, for his massive contribution to the tourism sector of the autonomous region.

Mr. Ho was awarded with the “Medal of Merit – Tourism” after a recommendation made by a Macau Government committee.

The official announcement was made on Tuesday, on the eve of the 18th anniversary of Macau becoming part of the Chinese administration from the Portuguese one. According to the announcement, Mr. Ho was one of the 42 individuals and organizations that has contributed most for the region’s economy and tourism sector with his overall achievements and the excellent services provided by his brands.

Studio City Opening

Despite the fact that Mr. Ho is often associated with Studio City, a Melco Resorts’ majority-owned gaming resort in Cotai, opened in October 2015, offering a great variety of non-gambling facilities and no VIP gambling. At the time when Studio City was officially opened, Mr. Ho shared that the fact that was not a political decision, but a business one.

For the time being, the Macau Government and the Central Government of China have been following a policy to expand the autonomous region’s economy beyond the traditional focus on gambling and more specifically, high-stake gambling for VIP customers and become more focused on non-gaming attractions in the local tourism sector.

As mentioned above, at the time of the press conference given at the opening of Studio City, Lawrence Ho explained that his company had taken into account the policy that was to be followed by the government in terms of market diversification.

The operating company, however, was hit by a wave of criticism due to the relatively slow gambling revenue increase generated by Studio City. This is why it applied for offering high-roller gambling services in the venue, for which it was given the necessary permission, and started offering such services from November 2016.

Melco Resorts to Seek Japanese Expansion, Says Mr. Ho

Earlier in 2017, the CEO and chairman of Melco Resorts & Entertainment confirmed the company’s desire to seek expansion in Japan by entering the local gambling market. More clarity on the opening of the country’s casino market, including information about the operators that are going to be allowed to participate in it, is expected to be given around June 2018.

As explained by Mr. Ho, his company had a number of goals it would seek to achieve over the upcoming years, and expanding in the Japanese gambling market is one of them. According to the Chairman and CEO of Melco Resorts & Entertainment, the country’s market has a great potential that only needs to be unveiled and further developed.

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