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Macau government limiting slot machine only casinos

The Macau government has taken steps to restrict gaming in residential areas of the Special Administrative Region.

New regulations have been implemented that will keep slot machine parlors from operating in residential parts of the city by the end of March. Melco PBL and Stanley Ho’s SJM Holdings operate the small casinos.

Only two existing slot machine parlors, one each operated by Melco and SJM, will be forced to close. Both are located on the Macau peninsula and the government will work with the casino operators to establish a timeline for the parlors’ closure.

“The new regulations state that slot parlors must be located within a 500 meter radius of a casino, or must otherwise be located in existing commercial buildings,” Union Gaming Group principal Grant Govertsen told investors. “We believe the closure of these two slot parlors will have virtually no impact on our forecasted 2012 (cash flow) for both Melco and SJM.”

Melco has nine slot machine parlors, called Mocha clubs, and SJM has “slot machine lounges.”

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