Melco helps develop Sri Lanka’s first integrated resort

Home » Melco helps develop Sri Lanka’s first integrated resort

Melco Resorts has revealed its new US$125m role in developing Sri Lanka’s first integrated resort, which is being rebranded to City of Dreams Sri Lanka.


Previously branded Cinnamon Life Integrated Resort, the property – also South Asia’s first more widely – will be fitted out and operated by Melco.

A wholly-owned local subsidiary of the company has been awarded a 20-year casino licence by the government of Sri Lanka to spearhead the project.

Melco is underpinning the project in partnership with  John Keells Holdings, the largest listed conglomerate on the Colombo Stock Exchange, for the resort, which is valued at more than $1bn.

Melco said it expects to commence casino operations at the resort in mid-2025, while the Cinnamon Life hotel, managed by John Keells, is in the final stages of completion and is expected to commence operations in Q3 this year.

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There is potential for further expansion of the gaming facilities, Melco said, subject to performance and market conditions.

Melco chairman and CEO Lawrence Ho said the company believes Sri Lanka has “immense potential” and that City of Dreams Sri Lanka “opportunity complements our existing portfolio of properties.”

Ho added: “Furthermore, City of Dreams Sri Lanka is expected to serve as a catalyst for stimulating tourism demand and promoting economic growth in Sri Lanka, drawing inspiration from the successful examples set by similar integrated resorts in other jurisdictions.

“We will continue to work closely with our esteemed partners and the Sri Lankan Government to ensure the success of this venture, and we expect to make a significant and positive impact on the local community and economy.”

Melco revealed the developments in Sri Lanka shortly after releasing its Q1 results, which revealed total operating revenues of $1.11bn, an increase of 55 per cent from Q1 2023.

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The dramatic increase was attributed mainly to “the improved performance in all gaming segments and non-gaming operations,” which followed from the continued increase in tourism to Macau.

Operating income for Q1 2024 was $125.4m, up from $0.4m in Q1 2023. Net income attributable to Melco Resorts & Entertainment was $15.2m, up from a net loss of $813m in Q1 2023.

Adjusted Property EBITDA reached $298.8m, compared with Adjusted Property EBITDA of $190.8m in the previous year’s quarter.

Lawrence Ho, chairman and CEO, commented: “We have had an eventful year so far. We have had a shift in management, our sales force has been restructured, we knocked down walls and started reconfiguring our gaming areas and opened several new retail outlets at Studio City – to name just a few of the initiatives taken so far.

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“On the financing side, we repaid another $250m in debt, raised $750m in bonds, and extended the maturity of our $1.9bn revolving credit facility, significantly reducing our refinancing risk in 2025.”

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