20-F 1 d403262d20f.htm FORM 20-F Form 20-F
Table of Contents

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549

 

 

FORM 20-F

 

 

 

REGISTRATION STATEMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OR 12(g) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

OR

 

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017

OR

 

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from              to             

OR

 

SHELL COMPANY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

Date of event requiring this shell company report

Commission file number 001-33178

 

 

MELCO RESORTS & ENTERTAINMENT LIMITED

(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)

 

 

(Translation of Registrant’s name into English)

Cayman Islands

(Jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)

36th Floor, The Centrium, 60 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong

(Address of principal executive offices)

Heather Rollo, Senior Vice President, Finance Tel +852 2598 3600, Fax +852 2537 3618

36th Floor, The Centrium, 60 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong

(Name, Telephone, E-mail and/or Facsimile number and Address of Company Contact Person)

Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

 

Title of Each Class

 

Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered

American depositary shares
each representing three ordinary shares
 

The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC

(The NASDAQ Global Select Market)

Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:

None.

(Title of Class)

Securities for which there is a reporting obligation pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Act:

None.

(Title of Class)

 

 

Indicate the number of outstanding shares of each of the issuer’s classes of capital or common stock as of the close of the period covered by the annual report.

1,478,429,243 ordinary shares outstanding as of December 31, 2017

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes      No  

If this report is an annual or transition report, indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.    Yes      No  

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes      No  

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate website, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).    Yes      No  

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or an emerging growth company. See definition of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):

 

Large accelerated filer     Accelerated filer      Non-accelerated filer       Emerging growth company  

If an emerging growth company that prepares its financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.  

† The term “new or revised financial accounting standard” refers to any update issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board to its Accounting Standards Codification after April 5, 2012.

Indicate by check mark which basis of accounting the registrant has used to prepare the financial statements included in this filing:

 

U.S. GAAP    

International Financial Reporting Standards as issued

by the International Accounting Standards Board  

   Other  

If “Other” has been checked in response to the previous question, indicate by check mark which financial statement item the registrant has elected to follow.    Item 17      Item 18  

If this is an annual report, indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).    Yes      No  

(APPLICABLE ONLY TO ISSUERS INVOLVED IN BANKRUPTCY PROCEEDINGS DURING THE PAST FIVE YEARS)

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed all documents and reports required to be filed by Sections 12, 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 subsequent to the distribution of securities under a plan confirmed by a court.    Yes      No  

 

 

 


Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

     Page  

INTRODUCTION

     1  

GLOSSARY

     6  

SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

     8  

PART I

     9  

ITEM 1. IDENTITY OF DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND ADVISERS

     9  

ITEM 2. OFFER STATISTICS AND EXPECTED TIMETABLE

     9  

ITEM 3. KEY INFORMATION

     10  

A. SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

     10  

B. CAPITALIZATION AND INDEBTEDNESS

     13  

C. REASONS FOR THE OFFER AND USE OF PROCEEDS

     13  

D. RISK FACTORS

     14  

ITEM 4. INFORMATION ON THE COMPANY

     57  

A. HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE COMPANY

     57  

B. BUSINESS OVERVIEW

     58  

C. ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE

     83  

D. PROPERTY, PLANT AND EQUIPMENT

     85  

ITEM 4A. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

     85  

ITEM 5. OPERATING AND FINANCIAL REVIEW AND PROSPECTS

     85  

A. OPERATING RESULTS

     85  

B. LIQUIDITY AND CAPITAL RESOURCES

     104  

C. RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT, PATENTS AND LICENSES, ETC.

     109  

D. TREND INFORMATION

     109  

E.  OFF-BALANCE SHEET ARRANGEMENTS

     110  

F. TABULAR DISCLOSURE OF CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATIONS

     111  

G. SAFE HARBOR

     112  

ITEM 6. DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND EMPLOYEES

     113  

A. DIRECTORS AND SENIOR MANAGEMENT

     113  

B. COMPENSATION OF DIRECTORS AND EXECUTIVE OFFICERS

     117  

C. BOARD PRACTICES

     118  

D. EMPLOYEES

     123  

E. SHARE OWNERSHIP

     124  

 

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     Page  

ITEM 7. MAJOR SHAREHOLDERS AND RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS

     129  

A. MAJOR SHAREHOLDERS

     129  

B. RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS

     130  

C. INTERESTS OF EXPERTS AND COUNSEL

     131  

ITEM 8. FINANCIAL INFORMATION

     131  

A. CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS AND OTHER FINANCIAL INFORMATION

     131  

B. SIGNIFICANT CHANGES

     132  

ITEM 9. THE OFFER AND LISTING

     132  

A. OFFERING AND LISTING DETAILS

     132  

B. PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION

     133  

C. MARKETS

     133  

D. SELLING SHAREHOLDERS

     133  

E. DILUTION

     134  

F. EXPENSES OF THE ISSUE

     134  

ITEM 10. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

     134  

A. SHARE CAPITAL

     134  

B. MEMORANDUM AND ARTICLES OF ASSOCIATION

     134  

C. MATERIAL CONTRACTS

     142  

D. EXCHANGE CONTROLS

     142  

E. TAXATION

     143  

F. DIVIDENDS AND PAYING AGENTS

     148  

G. STATEMENT BY EXPERTS

     148  

H. DOCUMENTS ON DISPLAY

     148  

I. SUBSIDIARY INFORMATION

     149  

ITEM 11. QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK

     149  

ITEM 12. DESCRIPTION OF SECURITIES OTHER THAN EQUITY SECURITIES

     150  

A. DEBT SECURITIES

     150  

B. WARRANTS AND RIGHTS

     150  

C. OTHER SECURITIES

     150  

D. AMERICAN DEPOSITARY SHARES

     151  

PART II

     152  

ITEM 13. DEFAULTS, DIVIDEND ARREARAGES AND DELINQUENCIES

     152  

ITEM 14. MATERIAL MODIFICATIONS TO THE RIGHTS OF SECURITY HOLDERS AND USE OF PROCEEDS

     152  

 

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     Page  

ITEM 15. CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES

     152  

ITEM 16A. AUDIT COMMITTEE FINANCIAL EXPERT

     153  

ITEM 16B. CODE OF ETHICS

     153  

ITEM 16C. PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTANT FEES AND SERVICES

     153  

ITEM 16D. EXEMPTIONS FROM THE LISTING STANDARDS FOR AUDIT COMMITTEES

     154  

ITEM 16E. PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES BY THE ISSUER AND AFFILIATED PURCHASERS

     154  

ITEM 16F. CHANGE IN REGISTRANT’S CERTIFYING ACCOUNTANT

     155  

ITEM 16G. CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

     155  

ITEM 16H. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURE

     156  

PART III

     156  

ITEM 17. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

     156  

ITEM 18. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

     156  

ITEM 19. EXHIBITS

     157  

SIGNATURES

     164  

INDEX TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

     F-1  

 

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INTRODUCTION

In this annual report on Form 20-F, unless otherwise indicated:

 

    “2010 Senior Notes” refers to the US$600 million aggregate principal amount of 10.25% senior notes due 2018 issued by Melco Resorts Finance on May 17, 2010 and fully redeemed on March 28, 2013;

 

    “2011 Credit Facilities” refers to the credit facilities entered into pursuant to an amendment agreement dated June 22, 2011, as amended from time to time, between, among others, Melco Resorts Macau, Deutsche Bank AG, Hong Kong Branch as agent and DB Trustees (Hong Kong) Limited as security agent, comprising a term loan facility and a revolving credit facility, for a total amount of HK$9.36 billion (equivalent to approximately US$1.2 billion), and which have been amended and restated by the 2015 Credit Facilities;

 

    “2012 Studio City Notes” refers to the US$825.0 million aggregate principal amount of 8.50% senior notes due 2020 issued by Studio City Finance on November 26, 2012;

 

    “2013 Senior Notes” refers to the US$1.0 billion aggregate principal amount of 5.00% senior notes due 2021 issued by Melco Resorts Finance on February 7, 2013 and fully redeemed on June 14, 2017;

 

    “2013 Top-up Placement” refers to the placing and top-up subscription of 981,183,700 MRP Shares (including over allotment option) conducted by MRP in April 2013, which raised approximately US$338.5 million as net proceeds;

 

    “2014 Top-up Placement” refers to the placing and top-up subscription of 485,177,000 MRP Shares conducted by MRP in June 2014, which raised approximately US$122.2 million as net proceeds;

 

    “2015 Credit Facilities” refers to the credit facilities entered into pursuant to an amendment and restatement agreement dated June 19, 2015, as amended from time to time, between, among others, Melco Resorts Macau, Deutsche Bank AG, Hong Kong Branch as agent and DB Trustees (Hong Kong) Limited as security agent, in a total amount of HK$13.65 billion (equivalent to approximately US$1.75 billion), comprising a HK$3.90 billion (equivalent to approximately US$500 million) term loan facility and a HK$9.75 billion (equivalent to approximately US$1.25 billion) revolving credit facility;

 

    “2015 Private Placement” refers to the placing of 693,500,000 MRP Shares by MRP to MCO (Philippines) Investments Limited, our subsidiary, in November 2015, at a subscription price of PHP3.90 per share, which increased the Company’s equity interest in MRP from 68.3% to 72.2% upon the completion of the placement;

 

    “2016 Studio City Notes” refers to the US$350.0 million aggregate principal amount of 5.875% senior secured notes due 2019 and the US$850.0 million aggregate principal amount of 7.250% senior secured notes due 2021, each issued by Studio City Company on November 30, 2016;

 

    “2017 Senior Notes” refers to the US$1.0 billion aggregate principal amount of 4.875% senior notes due 2025 issued by Melco Resorts Finance, of which US$650.0 million in aggregate principal amount was issued on June 6, 2017 and US$350.0 million in aggregate principal amount was issued on July 3, 2017;

 

    “2021 Studio City Senior Secured Credit Facility” refers to the facility agreement dated November 23, 2016 with, among others, Bank of China Limited, Macau Branch, to amend, restate and extend the Studio City Project Facility to provide for senior secured credit facilities in an aggregate amount of HK$234.0 million, which consist of a HK$233.0 million (equivalent to approximately US$29.9 million) revolving credit facility and a HK$1.0 million (equivalent to approximately US$129,000) term loan facility;

 

    “ADSs” refers to our American depositary shares, each of which represents three ordinary shares;

 

    “Aircraft Term Loan” refers to the US$43.0 million term loan credit facility entered into by MCE Transportation in June 2012 for the purpose of funding the acquisition of an aircraft;

 

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    “Altira Hotel” refers to our former subsidiary, Altira Hotel Limited, a Macau company through which we operated hotel and certain other non-gaming businesses at Altira Macau and which has been merged with Altira Resorts;

 

    “Altira Macau” refers to an integrated casino and hotel development located in Taipa, Macau, that caters to Asian VIP rolling chip customers;

 

    “Altira Resorts” refers to our subsidiary, Altira Resorts Limited (formerly known as Altira Developments Limited), a Macau company through which we hold the land and building for Altira Macau and operate hotel and certain other non-gaming businesses at Altira Macau;

 

    “Articles” refers to our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association adopted on March 29, 2017;

 

    “board” and “board of directors” refer to the board of directors of our Company or a duly constituted committee thereof;

 

    “China” and “PRC” refer to the People’s Republic of China, excluding Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan from a geographical point of view;

 

    “City of Dreams” refers to a casino, hotel, retail and entertainment integrated resort located in Cotai, Macau, which currently features casino areas and three luxury hotels, including a collection of retail brands, a wet stage performance theater and other entertainment venues;

 

    “City of Dreams Manila” refers to a casino, hotel, retail and entertainment integrated resort located within Entertainment City, Manila;

 

    “COD Hotels” refers to our former subsidiary, COD Hotels Limited (formerly known as Melco Crown (COD) Hotels Limited), a Macau company through which we operated hotels and certain other non-gaming businesses at City of Dreams and which has been merged with, among others, COD Resorts;

 

    “COD Resorts” refers to our subsidiary, COD Resorts Limited (formerly known as Melco Crown (COD) Developments Limited), a Macau company through which we hold the land and buildings for City of Dreams, operate hotel and certain other non-gaming businesses at City of Dreams and provide shared services within the Company;

 

    “Cotai” refers to an area of reclaimed land located between the islands of Taipa and Coloane in Macau;

 

    “Crown Asia Investments” refers to Crown Asia Investments Pty, Ltd.;

 

    “DICJ” refers to the Direcção de Inspecção e Coordenação de Jogos (the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau), a department of the Public Administration of Macau;

 

    “Greater China” refers to mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau, collectively;

 

    “HIBOR” refers to the Hong Kong Interbank Offered Rate;

 

    “HK$” and “H.K. dollar(s)” refer to the legal currency of Hong Kong;

 

    “HKSE” refers to The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited;

 

    “Hong Kong” refers to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the PRC;

 

    “LIBOR” refers to the London Interbank Offered Rate;

 

    “Macau” refers to the Macau Special Administrative Region of the PRC;

 

    “MCE Transportation” refers to our subsidiary, MCE Transportation Limited, a company incorporated under the laws of the British Virgin Islands;

 

    “Melco Acquisition” refers to the privately-negotiated sale entered into between Melco Leisure and Crown Asia Investments on December 14, 2016 wherein Melco Leisure agreed to purchase 198,000,000 of our ordinary shares from Crown Asia Investments;

 

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    “Melco International” refers to Melco International Development Limited, a Hong Kong-listed company;

 

    “Melco Leisure” refers to Melco Leisure and Entertainment Group Limited, a company incorporated under the laws of the British Virgin Islands and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Melco International;

 

    “Melco Philippine Parties” refers to Melco Resorts Leisure, MPHIL Holdings No. 1 and MPHIL Holdings No. 2;

 

    “Melco Resorts Finance” refers to our subsidiary, Melco Resorts Finance Limited (formerly known as MCE Finance Limited), a Cayman Islands exempted company with limited liability;

 

    “Melco Resorts Leisure” refers to our subsidiary, Melco Resorts Leisure (PHP) Corporation (formerly known as MCE Leisure (Philippines) Corporation), a corporation incorporated in the Philippines and one of the Philippine Licensees holding the Regular License;

 

    “Melco Resorts Macau” refers to our subsidiary, Melco Resorts (Macau) Limited (formerly known as Melco Crown (Macau) Limited), a Macau company and the holder of our gaming subconcession;

 

    “Mocha Clubs” refer to, collectively, our clubs with gaming machines, which are now the largest non-casino based operations of electronic gaming machines in Macau;

 

    “MPHIL Holdings No. 1” refers to our subsidiary, MPHIL Holdings No. 1 Corporation (formerly known as MCE Holdings (Philippines) Corporation), a corporation incorporated in the Philippines and one of the Philippine Licensees holding the Regular License;

 

    “MPHIL Holdings No. 2” refers to our subsidiary, MPHIL Holdings No. 2 Corporation (formerly known as MCE Holdings No. 2 (Philippines) Corporation), a corporation incorporated in the Philippines and one of the Philippine Licensees holding the Regular License;

 

    “MRP” refers to our subsidiary, Melco Resorts and Entertainment (Philippines) Corporation (formerly known as Melco Crown (Philippines) Resorts Corporation), the shares of which are listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange;

 

    “MRP Share(s)” refers to the common shares of MRP of par value PHP1.00 per share;

 

    “New Cotai Holdings” refers to New Cotai Holdings, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company, primarily owned by investment funds;

 

    “our subconcession” and “our gaming subconcession” refer to the Macau gaming subconcession held by Melco Resorts Macau;

 

    “PAGCOR” refers to the Philippines Amusement and Gaming Corporation, the Philippines regulatory body with jurisdiction over all gaming activities in the Philippines except for lottery, sweepstakes, cockfighting, horse racing and gaming inside the Cagayan Export Zone;

 

    “Pataca(s)” and “MOP” refer to the legal currency of Macau;

 

    “Philippine Cooperation Agreement” refers to the cooperation agreement (as amended) entered into between the Philippine Parties and the Melco Philippine Parties on October 25, 2012, which became effective on March 13, 2013;

 

    “Philippine Licensees” refers to holders of the Regular License, which include the Melco Philippine Parties and the Philippine Parties;

 

    “Philippine Notes” refers to the PHP15 billion aggregate principal amount of 5.00% senior notes due 2019 issued by Melco Resorts Leisure on January 24, 2014 and guaranteed by our Company and partially redeemed on October 9, 2017;

 

    “Philippine Parties” refers to SM Investments Corporation, Belle Corporation and PremiumLeisure and Amusement, Inc.;

 

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    “Philippine peso(s)” and “PHP” refer to the legal currency of the Philippines;

 

    “Philippine Stock Exchange” refers to The Philippine Stock Exchange, Inc.;

 

    “Provisional License” refers to the provisional gaming license issued by PAGCOR on December 12, 2008 for the development of an integrated tourism resort and to establish and operate a casino within Entertainment City in Manila, the Philippines, under which the Melco Philippine Parties and the Philippine Parties are co-licensees under the Amended Certificate of Affiliation and Provisional License dated January 28, 2013;

 

    “Regular License” refers to the regular gaming license dated April 29, 2015 issued by PAGCOR to the Philippine Licensees in replacement of the Provisional License for the operation of City of Dreams Manila;

 

    “Renminbi” and “RMB” refer to the legal currency of China;

 

    “RMB Bonds” refers to the RMB2.3 billion (equivalent to approximately US$353.3 million based on exchange rate on transaction date) aggregate principal amount of 3.75% bonds due 2013 issued by our Company on May 9, 2011 and fully redeemed on March 11, 2013;

 

    “SCI” refers to Studio City International Holdings Limited, a company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands with limited liability that is 60% owned by one of our subsidiaries and 40% owned by New Cotai Holdings through its wholly-owned subsidiary New Cotai, LLC;

 

    “share(s)” and “ordinary share(s)” refer to our ordinary share(s), par value of US$0.01 each;

 

    “Studio City” refers to a cinematically-themed integrated entertainment, retail and gaming resort in Cotai, Macau;

 

    “Studio City Company” refers to our subsidiary, Studio City Company Limited, which is a company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands with limited liability and which is also an indirect subsidiary of SCI;

 

    “Studio City Developments” refers to our subsidiary, Studio City Developments Limited, a Macau company in which we own 60% of the equity interest;

 

    “Studio City Finance” refers to our subsidiary, Studio City Finance Limited, which is a company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands with limited liability and which is also an indirect subsidiary of SCI;

 

    “Studio City Hotels” refers to our subsidiary, Studio City Hotels Limited, a Macau company in which we own 60% of the equity interest;

 

    “Studio City Investments” refers to our subsidiary, Studio City Investments Limited, which is a company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands with limited liability and which is also an indirect subsidiary of SCI;

 

    “Studio City Notes” refer to, collectively, the 2012 Studio City Notes and the 2016 Studio City Notes;

 

    “Studio City Project Facility” refers to the senior secured project facility, dated January 28, 2013 and as amended from time to time, entered into between, among others, Studio City Company as borrower and certain subsidiaries as guarantors, comprising a term loan facility of HK$10,080,460,000 (equivalent to approximately US$1.3 billion) and revolving credit facility of HK$775,420,000 (equivalent to approximately US$100.0 million), and which has been amended, restated and extended by the 2021 Studio City Senior Secured Credit Facility;

 

    “TWD” and “New Taiwan dollar(s)” refer to the legal currency of Taiwan;

 

    “US$” and “U.S. dollar(s)” refer to the legal currency of the United States;

 

    “U.S. GAAP” refers to the U.S. generally accepted accounting principles; and

 

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    “we”, “us”, “our”, “our Company”, “the Company” and “Melco” refer to Melco Resorts & Entertainment Limited and, as the context requires, its predecessor entities and its consolidated subsidiaries.

This annual report on Form 20-F includes our audited consolidated financial statements for the years ended December 31, 2015, 2016 and 2017 and as of December 31, 2016 and 2017.

Any discrepancies in any table between totals and sums of amounts listed therein are due to rounding. Accordingly, figures shown as totals in certain tables may not be an arithmetic aggregation of the figures preceding them.

 

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GLOSSARY

 

“average daily rate” or “ADR”

   calculated by dividing total room revenues including the retail value of complimentary rooms (less service charges, if any) by total rooms occupied, including complimentary rooms, i.e., average price of occupied rooms per day

“cage”

   a secure room within a casino with a facility that allows patrons to carry out transactions required to participate in gaming activities, such as exchange of cash for chips and exchange of chips for cash or other chips

“chip”

   round token that is used on casino gaming tables in lieu of cash

“concession”

   a government grant for the operation of games of fortune and chance in casinos in Macau under an administrative contract pursuant to which a concessionaire, or the entity holding the concession, is authorized to operate games of fortune and chance in casinos in Macau

“dealer”

   a casino employee who takes and pays out wagers or otherwise oversees a gaming table

“drop”

   the amount of cash to purchase gaming chips and promotional vouchers that is deposited in a gaming table’s drop box, plus gaming chips purchased at the casino cage

“drop box”

   a box or container that serves as a repository for cash, chip purchase vouchers, credit markers and forms used to record movements in the chip inventory on each table game

“electronic gaming table”

   table with an electronic or computerized wagering and payment system that allow players to place bets from multiple-player gaming seats

“gaming machine”

   slot machine and/or electronic gaming table

“gaming machine handle”

   the total amount wagered in gaming machines

“gaming machine win rate”

   gaming machine win expressed as a percentage of gaming machine handle

“gaming promoter”

   an individual or corporate entity who, for the purpose of promoting rolling chip and other gaming activities, arranges customer transportation and accommodation, provides credit in its sole discretion if authorized by a gaming operator and arranges food and beverage services and entertainment in exchange for commissions or other compensation from a gaming operator

“integrated resort”

   a resort which provides customers with a combination of hotel accommodations, casinos or gaming areas, retail and dining facilities, MICE space, entertainment venues and spas

“junket player”

   a player sourced by gaming promoters to play in the VIP gaming rooms or areas

“marker”

   evidence of indebtedness by a player to the casino or gaming operator

“mass market patron”

   a customer who plays in the mass market segment

“mass market segment”

   consists of both table games and gaming machines played by mass market players primarily for cash stakes

“mass market table games drop”

   the amount of table games drop in the mass market table games segment

“mass market table games hold percentage”

   mass market table games win as a percentage of mass market table games drop

 

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“mass market table games segment”

   the mass market segment consisting of mass market patrons who play table games

“MICE”

   Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions, an acronym commonly used to refer to tourism involving large groups brought together for an event or specific purpose

“net rolling”

   net turnover in a non-negotiable chip game

“non-negotiable chip”

   promotional casino chip that is not to be exchanged for cash

“non-rolling chip”

   chip that can be exchanged for cash, used by mass market patrons to make wagers

“occupancy rate”

   the average percentage of available hotel rooms occupied, including complimentary rooms, during a period

“premium direct player”

   a rolling chip player who is a direct customer of the concessionaires or subconcessionaires and is attracted to the casino through direct marketing efforts and relationships with the gaming operator

“progressive jackpot”

   a jackpot for a gaming machine or table game where the value of the jackpot increases as wagers are made; multiple gaming machines or table games may be linked together to establish one progressive jackpot

“revenue per available room” or “REVPAR”

   calculated by dividing total room revenues including the retail value of complimentary rooms (less service charges, if any) by total rooms available, thereby representing a combination of hotel average daily room rates and occupancy

“rolling chip” or “VIP rolling chip”

   non-negotiable chip primarily used by rolling chip patrons to make wagers

“rolling chip patron”

   a player who primarily plays on a rolling chip or VIP rolling chip tables and typically plays for higher stakes than mass market gaming patrons

“rolling chip segment”

   consists of table games played in private VIP gaming rooms or areas by rolling chip patrons who are either premium direct players or junket players

“rolling chip volume”

   the amount of non-negotiable chips wagered and lost by the rolling chip market segment

“rolling chip win rate”

   rolling chip table games win (calculated before discounts and commissions) as a percentage of rolling chip volume

“slot machine”

   traditional slot or electronic gaming machine operated by a single player

“subconcession”

   an agreement for the operation of games of fortune and chance in casinos between the entity holding the concession, or the concessionaire, and a subconcessionaire, pursuant to which the subconcessionaire is authorized to operate games of fortune and chance in casinos in Macau

“table games win”

   the amount of wagers won net of wagers lost on gaming tables that is retained and recorded as casino revenues

“VIP gaming room”

   gaming rooms or areas that have restricted access to rolling chip patrons and typically offer more personalized service than the general mass market gaming areas

 

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SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This annual report on Form 20-F contains forward-looking statements that relate to future events, including our future operating results and conditions, our prospects and our future financial performance and condition, all of which are largely based on our current expectations and projections. The forward-looking statements are contained principally in the sections entitled “Item 3. Key Information — D. Risk Factors,” “Item 4. Information on the Company” and “Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects.” Known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performances or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. See “Item 3. Key Information — D. Risk Factors” for a discussion of some risk factors that may affect our business and results of operations. Moreover, because we operate in a heavily regulated and evolving industry, may become highly leveraged and operate in Macau, a high-growth market with intense competition, and the Philippines, a market that is expected to experience growth over the next several years, new risk factors may emerge from time to time. It is not possible for our management to predict all risk factors, nor can we assess the impact of these factors on our business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statement.

In some cases, forward-looking statements can be identified by words or phrases such as “may,” “will,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “aim,” “estimate,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe,” “potential,” “continue,” “is/are likely to” or other similar expressions. We have based the forward-looking statements largely on our current expectations and projections about future events and financial trends that we believe may affect our financial condition, results of operations, business strategy and financial needs. These forward-looking statements include, among other things, statements relating to:

 

    our ability to raise additional financing;

 

    our future business development, results of operations and financial condition;

 

    growth of the gaming market in and visitation to Macau and the Philippines;

 

    our anticipated growth strategies;

 

    the liberalization of travel restrictions on PRC citizens and convertibility of the Renminbi;

 

    the availability of credit for gaming patrons;

 

    the uncertainty of tourist behavior related to spending and vacationing at casino resorts in Macau and the Philippines;

 

    fluctuations in occupancy rates and average daily room rates in Macau and the Philippines;

 

    increased competition and other planned casino hotel and resort projects in Macau and elsewhere in Asia, including in Macau from Sociedade de Jogos de Macau, S.A., or SJM, Venetian Macau, S.A., or VML, Wynn Resorts (Macau) S.A., or Wynn Macau, Galaxy Casino, S.A., or Galaxy, and MGM Grand Paradise, S.A., or MGM Grand Paradise;

 

    the formal grant of an occupancy permit for certain areas of City of Dreams that remain under construction or development;

 

    our ability to develop the additional land on which Studio City is located in accordance with Studio City land concession requirements, our business plan, completion time and within budget;

 

    our entering into new development and construction projects and new ventures in or outside of Macau or the Philippines;

 

    construction cost estimates for our development projects, including projected variances from budgeted costs;

 

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    government regulation of the casino industry, including gaming table allocations, gaming license approvals and the legalization of gaming in other jurisdictions;

 

    the completion of infrastructure projects in Macau and the Philippines;

 

    the outcome of any current and future litigation; and

 

    other factors described under “Item 3. Key Information — D. Risk Factors.”

The forward-looking statements made in this annual report on Form 20-F relate only to events or information as of the date on which the statements are made in this annual report on Form 20-F. Except as required by law, we undertake no obligation to update or revise publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, after the date on which the statements are made or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. You should read this annual report on Form 20-F and the documents that we referenced in this annual report on Form 20-F and have filed as exhibits with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or the SEC, completely and with the understanding that our actual future results may be materially different from what we expect.

PART I

 

ITEM 1. IDENTITY OF DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND ADVISERS

Not applicable.

 

ITEM 2. OFFER STATISTICS AND EXPECTED TIMETABLE

Not applicable.

 

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ITEM 3. KEY INFORMATION

A. SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

The following selected consolidated statement of operations data for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015 and balance sheet data as of December 31, 2017 and 2016 have been derived from our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this annual report beginning on page F-1.

The selected consolidated statement of operations data for the years ended December 31, 2014 and 2013 and the balance sheet data as of December 31, 2015, 2014 and 2013 have been derived from our consolidated financial statements not included in this annual report. The consolidated balance sheet data as of December 31, 2015, 2014 and 2013 reflect our retrospective adoption in 2016 of the new guidance on simplifying the presentation of debt issuance costs issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board. Our consolidated financial statements are prepared and presented in accordance with U.S. GAAP. You should read the selected consolidated financial data in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and related notes and “Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects” included elsewhere in this annual report. The historical results are not necessarily indicative of the results of operations to be expected in the future.

 

    Year Ended December 31,  
    2017     2016     2015     2014     2013  
    (In thousands of US$, except share and per share data and operating data)  

Consolidated Statements of Operations Data:

         

Net revenues

  $ 5,284,823     $ 4,519,396     $ 3,974,800     $ 4,802,309     $ 5,087,178  

Total operating costs and expenses

  $ (4,677,211   $ (4,156,280   $ (3,876,385   $ (4,116,949   $ (4,247,354

Operating income

  $ 607,612     $ 363,116     $ 98,415     $ 685,360     $ 839,824  

Net income (loss)

  $ 315,293     $ 66,918     $ (60,808   $ 527,386     $ 578,013  

Net loss attributable to noncontrolling interests

  $ 31,709     $ 108,988     $ 166,555     $ 80,894     $ 59,450  

Net income attributable to Melco Resorts & Entertainment Limited

  $ 347,002     $ 175,906     $ 105,747     $ 608,280     $ 637,463  

Net income attributable to Melco Resorts & Entertainment Limited per share

         

— Basic

  $ 0.236     $ 0.116     $ 0.065     $ 0.369     $ 0.386  

— Diluted

  $ 0.235     $ 0.115     $ 0.065     $ 0.366     $ 0.383  

Net income attributable to Melco Resorts & Entertainment Limited per ADS (1)

         

— Basic

  $ 0.709     $ 0.348     $ 0.196     $ 1.108     $ 1.159  

— Diluted

  $ 0.704     $ 0.346     $ 0.195     $ 1.099     $ 1.149  

Weighted average shares outstanding used in net income attributable to Melco Resorts & Entertainment Limited per share calculation

         

— Basic

    1,467,653,209       1,516,714,277       1,617,263,041       1,647,571,547       1,649,678,643  

— Diluted

    1,479,342,209       1,525,284,272       1,627,108,770       1,660,503,130       1,664,198,091  

Dividends declared per share

  $ 0.5604     $ 0.2408     $ 0.0389     $ 0.2076     $ —    

 

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     December 31,  
     2017      2016      2015      2014      2013  
     (In thousands of US$)  

Consolidated Balance Sheets Data:

              

Cash and cash equivalents

   $ 1,408,211      $ 1,702,310      $ 1,611,026      $ 1,597,655      $ 1,381,757  

Investment securities

     89,874        —          —          —          —    

Bank deposits with original maturities over three months

     9,884        210,840        724,736        110,616        626,940  

Restricted cash

     45,542        39,282        317,118        1,816,583        1,143,665  

Total assets (3)

     8,895,056        9,340,341        10,262,309        10,260,780        8,704,286  

Total current liabilities (3)

     1,684,014        1,479,140        1,211,017        1,315,004        1,235,455  

Long-term debt, net (2)(3)

     3,557,562        3,720,275        3,815,232        3,730,998        2,424,107  

Total liabilities (3)

     5,559,440        5,516,927        5,330,450        5,219,110        3,779,304  

Noncontrolling interests

     448,065        479,544        592,226        755,529        678,312  

Total equity

     3,335,616        3,823,414        4,931,859        5,041,670        4,924,982  

Ordinary shares

     14,784        14,759        16,309        16,337        16,667  

 

(1) Each ADS represents three ordinary shares.
(2) Includes current and non-current portion of long-term debt, net of debt issuance costs.
(3) The amounts have been adjusted for the retrospective application of the authoritative guidance on the presentation of debt issuance costs, which we adopted on January 1, 2016.

The following events/transactions affect the year-to-year comparability of the selected financial data presented above:

 

    On February 7, 2013, Melco Resorts Finance issued the 2013 Senior Notes

 

    On March 11, 2013, we completed the early redemption of the RMB Bonds in full

 

    On March 13, 2013, the Philippine Cooperation Agreement and the lease agreement between us and the Philippine Parties became effective

 

    On March 28, 2013, we completed the early redemption of our 2010 Senior Notes

 

    In April 2013, MRP completed the 2013 Top-up Placement, including the over-allotment option

 

    On January 24, 2014, Melco Resorts Leisure issued the Philippine Notes

 

    On June 24, 2014, MRP completed the 2014 Top-up Placement

 

    On July 28, 2014, we drew down the entire delayed draw term loan facility under the Studio City Project Facility

 

    On December 14, 2014, City of Dreams Manila commenced operations with its grand opening on February 2, 2015

 

    In June 2015, we completed an amendment to the 2011 Credit Facilities, known as the 2015 Credit Facilities, drew down the entire term loan facility under the 2015 Credit Facilities and repaid the entire outstanding balance of the 2011 Credit Facilities

 

    On October 27, 2015, Studio City commenced operations with its grand opening on the same date

 

    On November 18, 2015, we completed an amendment to the Studio City Project Facility

 

    On November 23, 2015, MRP completed the 2015 Private Placement

 

    In May 2016, we repurchased 155,000,000 ordinary shares (equivalent to 51,666,666 ADSs) from Crown Asia Investments for the aggregate purchase price of US$800.8 million, and such shares were subsequently cancelled by us

 

   

On November 30, 2016 (December 1, 2016, Hong Kong time), we repaid the Studio City Project Facility (other than the HK$1.0 million rolled over into the term loan facility of the 2021 Studio City

 

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Senior Secured Credit Facility, which was entered into on November 23, 2016) as funded by the net proceeds from the offering of 2016 Studio City Notes issued by Studio City Company on November 30, 2016 and cash on hand

 

    In May 2017, we issued and sold 27,769,248 ADSs (equivalent to 83,307,744 ordinary shares) and 81,995,799 ordinary shares and also repurchased 165,303,544 ordinary shares from Crown Asia Investments for the aggregate purchase price of US$1.2 billion, and such repurchased shares were subsequently cancelled by us

 

    On June 6, 2017, Melco Resorts Finance issued US$650.0 million in aggregate principal amount of the 2017 Senior Notes

 

    On June 14, 2017, together with the net proceeds from the issuance of US$650.0 million in aggregate principal amount of the 2017 Senior Notes along with the proceeds in the amount of US$350.0 million from a partial drawdown of the revolving credit facility under the 2015 Credit Facilities and cash on hand, Melco Resorts Finance redeemed all of our outstanding 2013 Senior Notes

 

    On July 3, 2017, Melco Resorts Finance issued US$350.0 million in aggregate principal amount of the 2017 Senior Notes, the net proceeds from which were used to repay in full the US$350.0 million drawdown from the revolving credit facility under the 2015 Credit Facilities

 

    On October 9, 2017, Melco Resorts Leisure partially redeemed the Philippine Notes in an aggregate principal amount of PHP7.5 billion, together with accrued interest

Exchange Rate Information

The majority of our current revenues are denominated in H.K. dollar, whereas our current expenses are denominated predominantly in Pataca, H.K. dollar and Philippine peso. Unless otherwise noted, all translations from H.K. dollar to U.S. dollar and from U.S. dollar to H.K. dollar in this annual report on Form 20-F were made at a rate of HK$7.78 to US$1.00.

The H.K. dollar is freely convertible into other currencies (including the U.S. dollar). Since October 17, 1983, the H.K. dollar has been officially linked to the U.S. dollar at the rate of HK$7.80 to US$1.00. The market exchange rate has not deviated materially from the level of HK$7.80 to US$1.00 since the peg was first established. However, in May 2005, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority broadened the trading band from the original rate of HK$7.80 per U.S. dollar to a rate range of HK$7.75 to HK$7.85 per U.S. dollar. The Hong Kong government has stated its intention to maintain the link at that rate, and, acting through the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, has a number of means by which it may act to maintain exchange rate stability. However, no assurance can be given that the Hong Kong government will maintain the link at HK$7.75 to HK$7.85 per U.S. dollar or at all.

The noon buying rate on December 29, 2017 in New York City for cable transfers in H.K. dollar per U.S. dollar, provided in the H.10 weekly statistical release of the Federal Reserve Board of the United States as certified for customs purposes by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, was HK$7.8128 to US$1.00. On April 6, 2018, the noon buying rate was HK$7.8482 to US$1.00. We make no representation that any H.K. dollar or U.S. dollar amounts could have been, or could be, converted into U.S. dollar or H.K. dollar, as the case may be, at any particular rate, the rates stated below, or at all.

 

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The following table sets forth information concerning the noon buying rate for H.K. dollars for the period indicated.

 

     Noon Buying Rate  

Period

   Period End      Average (1)      High      Low  
     (H.K. dollar per US$1.00)  

April 2018 (through April 6, 2018)

     7.8482        7.8487        7.8490        7.8482  

March 2018

     7.8484        7.8413        7.8486        7.8275  

February 2018

     7.8262        7.8222        7.8267        7.8183  

January 2018

     7.8210        7.8190        7.8230        7.8161  

December 2017

     7.8128        7.8128        7.8228        7.8050  

November 2017

     7.8093        7.8052        7.8118        7.7955  

October 2017

     7.8015        7.8053        7.8106        7.7996  

2017

     7.8128        7.7926        7.8267        7.7540  

2016

     7.7534        7.7620        7.8270        7.7505  

2015

     7.7507        7.7524        7.7686        7.7495  

2014

     7.7531        7.7545        7.7669        7.7495  

2013

     7.7539        7.7565        7.7654        7.7503  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

(1) Annual averages are calculated from month-end rates. Monthly averages are calculated using the average of the daily rates during the relevant period.

The Pataca is pegged to the H.K. dollar at a rate of HK$1.00 = MOP1.03. All translations from Pataca to U.S. dollar in this annual report on Form 20-F were made at the exchange rate of MOP8.0134 = US$1.00. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York does not certify for customs purposes a noon buying rate for cable transfers in Pataca.

This annual report on Form 20-F also contains translations of certain Renminbi, New Taiwan dollar and Philippine peso amounts into U.S. dollar. Unless otherwise stated, all translations from Renminbi to U.S. dollar in this annual report on Form 20-F were made at the noon buying rate on December 29, 2017 for cable transfers in RMB per U.S. dollar, as certified for customs purposes by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which was RMB6.5063 to US$1.00. Unless otherwise stated, all translations from New Taiwan dollar to U.S. dollar in this annual report on Form 20-F were made at the noon buying rate on December 29, 2017 for cable transfers in New Taiwan dollar per U.S. dollar, as certified for customs purposes by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which was TWD29.6400 to US$1.00. Unless otherwise stated, all conversion from Philippine peso to U.S. dollar in this annual report on Form 20-F were made based on the volume weighted average exchange rate quoted through the Philippine Dealing System, which was PHP49.9580 to US$1.00 on December 29, 2017. We make no representation that any RMB, TWD, PHP or U.S. dollar amounts could have been, or could be, converted into U.S. dollar or RMB or TWD or PHP, as the case may be, at any particular rate or at all. On April 6, 2018, the noon buying rate was RMB6.3045 to US$1.00 and TWD29.2900 to US$1.00. The Philippine Dealing System ceased publication of exchange rate information on April 1, 2018. The exchange rate as of April 6, 2018 as provided by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) was PHP52.1280 to US$1.00.

B. CAPITALIZATION AND INDEBTEDNESS

Not applicable.

C. REASONS FOR THE OFFER AND USE OF PROCEEDS

Not applicable.

 

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D. RISK FACTORS

Our business, financial condition and results of operations can be affected materially and adversely by any of the following risk factors.

Risks Relating to Our Business and Operations

Our operating history may not serve as an adequate basis to judge our future operating results and prospects. We have significant projects in various phases of development and therefore are subject to significant risks and uncertainties.

Our business operating history is shorter than some of our competitors and therefore may not serve as an adequate basis for your evaluation of our business and prospects. City of Dreams commenced operations in June 2009. City of Dreams Manila commenced operations in December 2014. Studio City commenced operations in October 2015. In addition, we have significant projects, such as the additional development of the land on which Studio City is located, which are in various phases of design or development.

We face certain risks, expenses and challenges in operating gaming businesses in intensely competitive markets. Some of the risks relate to our ability to:

 

    fulfill conditions precedent to draw down or roll over funds from current and future credit facilities;

 

    comply with covenants under our debt issuances and credit facilities;

 

    raise additional capital, as required;

 

    respond to changing financing requirements;

 

    operate, support, expand and develop our operations and our facilities;

 

    attract and retain customers and qualified employees;

 

    maintain effective control of our operating costs and expenses;

 

    maintain internal personnel, systems, controls and procedures to assure compliance with the extensive regulatory requirements applicable to the gaming business as well as regulatory compliance as a public company;

 

    respond to competitive and/or deteriorating market conditions;

 

    respond to changes in our regulatory environment and government policies;

 

    identify suitable locations and enter into new leases or right to use agreements for new Mocha Clubs or existing Mocha Clubs which we may relocate; and

 

    renew or extend lease agreements or right to use agreements for existing Mocha Clubs.

If we are unable to complete any of these tasks, we may be unable to operate our businesses in the manner we contemplate and generate revenues from such projects in the amounts and by the times we anticipate. We may also be unable to meet the conditions to draw on our existing or future financing facilities in order to fund various activities, which may result in a default under our existing or future financing facilities. If any of these events were to occur, it would cause a material adverse effect on our business and prospects, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

We generate a substantial portion of our cash flow from our properties in Macau and the Philippines and, as a result, are subject to greater risks than a gaming company which operates in more geographical regions.

We are a parent company with limited business operations of our own. We conduct most of our business operations through our direct and indirect subsidiaries. Our primary sources of cash are dividends and distributions with respect to our ownership interests in our subsidiaries that are derived from the earnings and cash flow generated by our operating properties.

 

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We primarily depend on our properties in Macau and City of Dreams Manila for our cash flow. Given that our operations are and will be conducted based on our principal properties in Macau and one property in Manila, we are and will be subject to greater risks resulting from limited diversification of our businesses and sources of revenues as compared to gaming companies with more operating properties in various geographic regions. These risks include, but are not limited to:

 

    dependence on the gaming and leisure market in Macau and the Philippines and limited diversification of businesses and sources of revenues;

 

    a decline in market, economic, competitive and political conditions in Macau, China, the Philippines or generally in Asia;

 

    inaccessibility to Macau or the Philippines due to inclement weather, road construction or closure of primary access routes;

 

    a decline in air or ferry passenger traffic to Macau or the Philippines due to fears concerning travel or otherwise;

 

    travel or visa restrictions to Macau or austerity measures imposed now or in the future by China;

 

    tightened control of cross-border fund transfers and/or foreign exchange regulations or policies effected by the Chinese, Macau and/or Philippine governments;

 

    changes in Macau, China and Philippine laws and regulations, or interpretations thereof, including gaming laws and regulations, anti-smoking legislation, as well as China travel and visa policies;

 

    any enforcement or legal measures taken by the Chinese government to deter gaming activities and/or marketing thereof;

 

    natural and other disasters, including typhoons, earthquakes, outbreaks of infectious diseases or terrorism, affecting Macau or the Philippines;

 

    lower than expected rate of increase in the number of visitors to Macau or the Philippines;

 

    relaxation of regulations on gaming laws in other regional economies that could compete with the Macau and the Philippine markets;

 

    a decrease in gaming activities and other spending at our properties; and

 

    government restrictions on growth of gaming markets, including those in the form of policies on gaming table allocation and caps.

Any of these developments or events could have a material adverse effect on our business, cash flows, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

All our current and future construction projects are and will be subject to significant development and construction risks, which could have a material adverse impact on related project timetables, costs and our ability to complete the projects.

All our current and future construction projects are and will be subject to a number of risks, including:

 

    changes to plans and specifications;

 

    engineering problems, including defective plans and specifications;

 

    shortages of, and price increases in, energy, materials and skilled and unskilled labor, and inflation in key supply markets;

 

    delays in obtaining or inability to obtain necessary permits, licenses and approvals;

 

    lack of sufficient, or delays in availability of, financing;

 

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    changes in laws and regulations, or in the interpretation and enforcement of laws and regulations, applicable to gaming, leisure, residential, real estate development or construction projects;

 

    labor disputes or work stoppages;

 

    shortage of qualified contractors and suppliers or inability to enter into definitive contracts with contractors with sufficient skills, financial resources and experience on commercially reasonable terms, or at all;

 

    disputes with, and defaults by, contractors and subcontractors and other counter-parties;

 

    personal injuries to workers and other persons;

 

    environmental, health and safety issues, including site accidents and the spread of viruses;

 

    weather interferences or delays;

 

    fires, typhoons and other natural disasters;

 

    geological, construction, excavation, regulatory and equipment problems; and

 

    other unanticipated circumstances or cost increases.

The occurrence of any of these developments or construction risks could increase the total costs, delay or prevent the construction or opening or otherwise affect the design and features of any existing or future construction projects which we might undertake. We cannot guarantee that our construction costs or total project costs for existing or future projects will not increase beyond amounts initially budgeted.

We could encounter substantial cost increases or delays in the development of our projects, which could prevent or delay the opening of such projects.

We have certain projects under development or intended to be developed pursuant to our expansion plan. The completion of these projects is subject to a number of contingencies, including adverse developments in applicable legislation, delays or failures in obtaining necessary government licenses, permits or approvals. The occurrence of any of these developments could increase the total costs or delay or prevent the construction or opening of new projects, which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. We may also require additional financing to develop our projects. Our ability to obtain such financing depends on a number of factors beyond our control, including market conditions, investors’ and lenders’ perceptions of, and demand for, debt and equity securities of gaming companies, credit availability and interest rates.

There is no assurance that the actual construction costs related to our projects will not exceed the costs we have projected and budgeted. In addition, construction costs, particularly labor costs, are increasing in Macau and we believe that they are likely to continue to increase due to the significant increase in building activity and the ongoing labor shortage in Macau. In addition, immigration and labor regulations in Macau may limit or restrict our contractors’ ability to obtain sufficient laborers from China to make up for any shortages in available labor in Macau and help reduce construction costs. Continuing increases in construction costs in Macau will increase the risk that construction will not be completed on time, within budget or at all, which could materially and adversely affect our business, cash flow, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

Construction is subject to hazards that may cause personal injury or loss of life, thereby subjecting us to liabilities and possible losses, which may not be covered by insurance.

The construction of large scale properties, including the types of projects we are involved in, can be dangerous. Construction workers at such sites are subject to hazards that may cause personal injury or loss of life, thereby subjecting the contractors and us to liabilities, possible losses, delays in completion of the projects

 

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and negative publicity. We believe, and require, our contractors take safety precautions that are consistent with industry practice, but these safety precautions may not be adequate to prevent serious personal injuries or loss of life, damage to property or delays. If accidents occur during the construction of any of our projects, we may be subject to delays, including delays imposed by regulators, liabilities and possible losses, which may not be covered by insurance, and our business, prospects and reputation may be materially and adversely affected.

We are developing Morpheus, the third phase of City of Dreams, and will be developing the remaining project for Studio City under the terms of land concession contracts which require us to fully develop the lands on which City of Dreams and Studio City are located by June 11, 2018 and July 24, 2021, respectively. If we do not complete development by that time and the Macau government does not grant us an extension of the development period, we could be forced to forfeit all or part of our investment in City of Dreams or Studio City, along with our interest in the land on which City of Dreams and/or Studio City are located and the buildings and structures on such land.

Land concessions in Macau are issued by the Macau government and generally have terms of 25 years and are renewable for further consecutive periods of ten years. Land concessions further stipulate a period within which the development of the land must be completed. In accordance with the City of Dreams land concession contract and the Studio City land concession contract, the land on which City of Dreams and the land on which Studio City are located must be fully developed by June 11, 2018 and July 24, 2021, respectively. We are currently developing Morpheus, the third phase of City of Dreams. While we opened Studio City in October 2015, our development plan for the remaining land of Studio City is currently under review. There is no guarantee we will complete the development of Morpheus or the remaining land of Studio City by the relevant deadline. In the event that additional time is required to complete the development of Morpheus or the remaining land of Studio City, we will have to apply for an extension of the relevant development period which shall be subject to Macau government review and approval at its discretion. While the Macau government may grant extensions if we meet certain legal requirements and the application for extension is made in accordance with the relevant rules and regulations, there can be no assurance that the Macau government will grant us any necessary extension of the development period or not exercise its right to terminate the City of Dreams land concession or the Studio City land concession. In the event that no extension is granted or either the City of Dreams land concession or the Studio City land concession is terminated, we could lose all or substantially all of our investment in City of Dreams or Studio City, including our interest in land and buildings and may not be able to continue to operate City of Dreams or Studio City as planned, which will materially adversely affect our business and prospects, results of operations and financial condition.

Inadequate transportation infrastructure in the Philippines or Macau may hinder increases in visitation to the Philippines or Macau.

City of Dreams Manila is located within Entertainment City, Manila, an area in the city of Manila which is currently under development. Other than Solaire and Okada Manila, there are currently no other integrated tourism resorts which have begun operations in Entertainment City, Manila. It is unlikely that Manila’s existing transportation infrastructure is capable of handling the increased number of tourist arrivals that may be necessary to support visitor traffic to large scale integrated resorts within Entertainment City, such as City of Dreams Manila. Although the newly constructed NAIA Expressway helped alleviate the traffic congestion within the area surrounding Entertainment City and the Philippine government continues to examine viable alternatives to ease traffic congestion in Manila, there is no guarantee that these measures will succeed, or that they will sufficiently eliminate the traffic problem or other deficiencies in Manila’s transportation infrastructure. Traffic congestion and other problems in Manila’s transportation infrastructure could adversely affect the tourism industry in the Philippines and reduce the number of potential visitors to City of Dreams Manila, which could, in turn, adversely affect our business and prospects, financial condition and results of our operations.

Macau consists of a peninsula and two islands and is connected to China by two border crossings. Macau has an international airport and connections to China and Hong Kong by road, ferry and helicopter. To

 

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support Macau’s planned future development as a gaming and leisure destination, the frequency of bus, car, air and ferry services to Macau will need to increase. While various projects are under development to improve Macau’s internal and external transportation links, including the Macau Light Rail, these projects may not be approved, financed or constructed in time to handle the projected increase in demand for transportation or at all, which could impede the expected increase in visitation to Macau and adversely affect our projects in Macau. There has been a delay in the development of the Macau Light Rail Transit, and the benefits expected to be brought by proximity of any of our properties to one of the planned Cotai hotel-casino resort stops may not be fully realized until such light rail stops commence operations. In addition, the construction of the Hong Kong — Zhuhai — Macau Bridge, which is expected to significantly reduce the travel time among the three cities, has also experienced delays. Any further delays or termination of Macau’s transportation infrastructure projects may have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects, financial conditions, results of operations and cash flow.

Conducting business in Macau and the Philippines is subject to certain regional and global political and economic risks that may significantly affect visitation to our properties and have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.

Most of our properties are located in Macau and a significant number of our gaming customers come from, and are expected to continue to come from, mainland China. Accordingly, our business development plans, results of operations and financial condition may be materially and adversely affected by significant political, social and economic developments in Macau and China. In particular, our operating results may be adversely affected by:

 

    changes in Macau’s and China’s political, economic and social conditions, including any slowdown in economic growth in China;

 

    tightening of travel or visa restrictions to Macau or austerity measures which may be imposed by the Chinese government;

 

    measures that may be introduced to control inflation, such as interest rate increases or bank account withdrawal controls; and

 

    changes in the tax laws and regulations.

For example, our business and operations are affected by the travel or visa restrictions imposed by China on its citizens from time to time. The Chinese government imposes restrictions on exit visas granted to resident citizens of mainland China for travel to Macau. The government further restricts the number of days that resident citizens of mainland China may spend in Macau for certain types of travel. Such travel and visa restrictions, and any changes imposed by the Chinese government from time to time, could disrupt the number of visitors from mainland China to our properties.

Our operations in Macau are also exposed to the risk of changes in laws and policies that govern operations of Macau-based companies. Tax laws and regulations may also be subject to amendment or different interpretation and implementation, thereby adversely affecting our profitability after tax. Further, certain terms of our gaming subconcession may be subject to renegotiations with the Macau government in the future, including amounts we will be obligated to pay the Macau government in order to continue operations. The results of any renegotiations could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.

In addition, the demand for gaming activities and related services and luxury amenities that we provide through our operations is dependent on discretionary consumer spending and, as with other forms of entertainment, is susceptible to downturns in global and regional economic conditions. An economic downturn may reduce consumers’ willingness to travel and reduce their spending overseas, which would adversely impact us as we depend on visitors from mainland China and other countries to generate a substantial portion of our revenues. Changes in discretionary consumer spending or consumer preferences could be driven by factors such

 

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as perceived or actual general economic conditions, high energy and food prices, the increased cost of travel, weak segments of the job market, perceived or actual disposable consumer income and wealth, fears of recession and changes in consumer confidence in the economy or fears of armed conflict or future acts of terrorism. In addition, our business and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected by any changes in China’s economy, including the decrease in the pace of economic growth. A number of measures taken by the Chinese government in recent years to control the rate of economic growth, including those designed to tighten credit and liquidity, have contributed to a slowdown of China’s economy. According to the National Bureau of Statistics of China, China’s GDP growth rate was 6.9% in 2017, which is similar to the 6.7% in 2016. Any slowdown in China’s future growth may have an adverse impact on financial markets, currency exchange rates and other economies, as well as the spending of visitors in Macau and our properties. There is no guarantee that economic downturns, whether actual or perceived, any further decrease in economic growth rates or an otherwise uncertain economic outlook in China will not occur or persist in the future, that they will not be protracted or that governments will respond adequately to control and reverse such conditions, any of which could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

City of Dreams Manila is located in the Philippines and is subject to certain economic, political and social risks within the Philippines. The Philippines has in the past experienced severe political and social instability, including acts of political violence. Any future political or social instability in the Philippines could adversely affect the business operations and financial conditions of City of Dreams Manila. In addition, changes in the policies of the government or laws or regulations, or in the interpretation or enforcement of these laws and regulations, such as anti-smoking policies or legislation, may negatively impact consumption patterns of visitors to City of Dreams Manila and could adversely affect our business operations and financial condition.

In addition, demand for, and the prices of, gaming and entertainment products are directly influenced by economic conditions in the Philippines, including growth levels, interest rates, inflation, levels of business activity and consumption, and the amount of remittances received from overseas Filipino workers. Any deterioration in economic and political conditions in the Philippines or elsewhere in Asia could materially and adversely affect our Company’s business in the Philippines, as well as the prospects, financial condition and results of our operations in the Philippines.

Our business in the Philippines will also depend substantially on revenues from foreign visitors and may be disrupted by events that reduce foreigners’ willingness to travel to or create substantial disruption in Metro Manila and raise substantial concerns about visitors’ personal safety, such as power outages, civil disturbances and terrorist attacks, among others. For example, in June 2017, there were multiple deaths at the Resorts World Manila entertainment complex in Pasay, Metro Manila, Philippines when a gunman caused a stampede and set fire to casino tables and slot machine chairs. The Philippines has also experienced a significant number of major catastrophes over the years, including typhoons, volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. We cannot predict the extent to which our business in the Philippines and tourism in Metro Manila in general will be affected by any of the above occurrences or fears that such occurrences will take place. We cannot guarantee that any disruption to our Philippine operations will not be protracted, that City of Dreams Manila will not suffer any damages and that any such damage will be completely covered by insurance or at all. Any of these occurrences may disrupt our operations in the Philippines.

In addition, the global macroeconomic environment is facing challenges, including the escalation of the European sovereign debt crisis since 2011, the end of quantitative easing by the U.S. Federal Reserve, the economic slowdown in the Eurozone in 2014 and the escalation of international trade conflicts, including the potential escalation of trade tariffs and related retaliatory measures. There is considerable uncertainty over the long-term effects of the expansionary monetary and fiscal policies adopted by the central banks and financial authorities of some of the world’s leading economies, including the United States and China. There have been concerns over unrest and terrorist threats in the Middle East, Europe and Africa, which have resulted in volatility in oil and other markets, and over the conflicts involving Ukraine and Syria and potential conflicts involving the Korean peninsula. Any severe or prolonged slowdown in the global economy or increase in international trade or

 

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political conflicts may materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition. In addition, continued turbulence in the international markets may adversely affect our ability to access capital markets to meet liquidity needs.

Policies, campaigns and measures adopted by the PRC and/or Macau governments from time to time could materially and adversely affect our operations.

A significant number of the gaming customers of our properties come from, and are expected to continue to come from, China. Any travel restrictions imposed by China could disrupt the number of patrons visiting our properties from China. Since mid-2003, under the Individual Visit Scheme, or IVS, Chinese citizens from certain cities have been able to travel to Macau individually instead of as part of a tour group. The Chinese government has in the past restricted and loosened IVS travel frequently and may continue to do so from time to time and it is unclear whether such measures will become more restrictive in the future. A decrease in the number of visitors from China would adversely affect our results of operations.

In addition, certain policies and campaigns implemented by the Chinese government may lead to a decline in the number of patrons visiting our properties and the amount of spending by such patrons. The strength and profitability of the gaming business depends on consumer demand for integrated resorts in general and for the type of luxury amenities that a gaming operator offers. Recent initiatives and campaigns undertaken by the Chinese government have resulted in an overall dampening effect on the behavior of Chinese consumers and a decrease in their spending, particularly in luxury good sales and other discretionary spending. For example, the Chinese government’s ongoing anti-corruption campaign has had an overall chilling effect on the behavior of Chinese consumers and their spending patterns both domestically and abroad. In addition, the number of patrons visiting our properties may be affected by the Chinese government’s focus on deterring marketing of gaming to Chinese mainland residents by casinos and its initiatives to tighten monetary transfer regulations and increase monitoring of various transactions, including bank or credit card transactions, and reduce the amount that China-issued ATM cardholders can withdraw in each withdrawal. Recent conviction of staff of a foreign casino in China in relation to gaming related activities in China have created further regulatory uncertainty on marketing activities in China.

We derive a significant majority of our revenues from our Macau gaming business and any disruptions or downturns in the Macau gaming market may have a material impact on our business.

Prior to 2014, we derived substantially all of our revenues from our business and operations in Macau. Although we now also generate revenues from our Philippine operations, we continue to derive a significant majority of our revenues from our Macau gaming business and may be materially affected by any disruptions or downturns in the Macau gaming market. While the Macau gaming market improved in 2017 compared to 2016, the Macau gaming market, according to the DICJ, experienced a decline in gross gaming revenues from 2014 to 2016. We believe such decline was primarily driven by a deterioration in gaming demand from China, which provides a core customer base for the Macau gaming market, as well as other restrictions including the imposition of travel restrictions and the implementation of smoking restrictions in casinos. Our business, financial condition and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected by such decline or other disruptions in the Macau gaming market.

The gaming industries in Macau and the Philippines are highly regulated.

Gaming is a highly regulated industry in Macau. Our Macau gaming business is subject to various laws, such as those relating to licensing, tax rates and anti-money laundering measures, which may change or become more stringent. Changes in laws may result in additional regulations being imposed on our gaming operations in Macau and our future projects. Our operations in Macau are also exposed to the risk of changes in the Macau government’s policies that govern operations of Macau-based companies and the Macau government’s interpretation of, or amendments to, our gaming subconcession. Any such adverse developments in

 

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the regulation of the Macau gaming industry could be difficult to comply with and could significantly increase our costs, which could cause our projects to be unsuccessful. See “— Gaming is a highly regulated industry in Macau and adverse changes or developments in gaming laws or other regulations that affect our operations could be difficult to comply with or may significantly increase our costs, which could cause our projects to be unsuccessful.”

The Philippine gaming industry is also highly regulated, including the new amendment to the existing Philippines Anti-Money Laundering Act, as amended (“AMLA”), whereby casinos are now included as covered persons subject to reporting and other requirements under the AMLA. City of Dreams Manila may legally operate under the Regular License, which requires a number of periodic approvals from and reports to PAGCOR. PAGCOR may refuse to approve proposals by us and our gaming promoters, or modify previously approved proposals and may require us and/or our gaming promoters to perform acts with which we disagree. The Regular License requires, among others, 95.0% of City of Dreams Manila’s total employees to be locally hired. PAGCOR could also exert a substantial influence on our human resource policies, particularly with respect to the qualifications and salary levels for gaming employees, especially in light of the fact that employees assigned to the gaming operations are required by PAGCOR to obtain a Gaming Employment License. As a result, PAGCOR could have influence over City of Dreams Manila’s gaming operations. Moreover, because PAGCOR is also an operator of casinos and gaming establishments in the Philippines, it is possible that conflicts in relation to PAGCOR’s operating and regulatory functions may exist or may arise in the future. In addition, we and our gaming promoters may not be able to obtain, or maintain, all requisite approvals, permits and licenses that various Philippine and local government agencies may require. Any of the foregoing could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations in the Philippines.

Furthermore, our licenses and permits from various Philippine government agencies, such as those related to labor, public works, safety, fire, buildings, health and environmental, are required to be renewed annually. There is no guarantee that the requirements for such permits and licenses will remain the same, or that the relevant Philippine government agencies will not impose additional and more onerous requirements. This may affect our ability to renew our licenses and permits, which could adversely affect our business in the Philippines.

In addition, current laws and regulations in Macau and the Philippines concerning gaming and gaming concessions and licenses are, for the most part, fairly recent and there is little precedent on the interpretation of these laws and regulations. These laws and regulations are complex, and a court or administrative or regulatory body may in the future render an interpretation of these laws and regulations, or issue new or modified regulations, that differ from our interpretation, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Uncertainties in the legal systems in the PRC may expose us to risks.

Gaming-related activities in the PRC, including marketing activities, are regulated by the PRC government and subject to various PRC laws and regulations. The PRC legal system continues to rapidly evolve and the interpretations of many laws, regulations and rules are not always uniform. In addition, the PRC legal system is based in part on government policies and internal rules, some of which are not published on a timely basis or at all. As a result, we may not be aware of all policies and rules imposed by the PRC authorities which may affect or relate to our business and operations. There is also no assurance that our interpretation of the laws and regulations that affect our activities and operations in the PRC is or will be consistent with the interpretation and application by the PRC governmental authorities. These uncertainties may impede our ability to assess our legal rights or risks relating to our business and activities. Any changes in the laws and regulations, or in the interpretation or enforcement of these laws and regulations, that affect gaming-related activities in the PRC could have a material and adverse effect on our business and prospects, financial condition and results of operations.

In addition, PRC administrative and court authorities have significant discretion in interpreting and implementing statutory terms. Such discretion of the PRC administrative and court authorities increases the

 

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uncertainties in the PRC legal system and makes it difficult to evaluate the likely outcome of any administrative and court proceedings in the PRC. Any litigation or proceeding in the PRC may be protracted and result in substantial costs and diversion of our resources and management attention. Any such litigation or proceeding could have a material adverse effect on our business, reputation, financial condition and results of operations.

We face intense competition in Macau, the Philippines and elsewhere in Asia and may not be able to compete successfully.

The hotel, resort and gaming industries are highly competitive. The competitors of our business in Macau, the Philippines and elsewhere in Asia include many of the largest gaming, hospitality, leisure and resort companies in the world. Some of these current and future competitors are larger than we are and may have more diversified resources, better brand recognition and greater access to capital to support their developments and operations in Macau, the Philippines and elsewhere.

In the Philippine gaming market, we compete with hotels and resorts owned by both Philippine nationals and foreigners. PAGCOR, an entity owned and controlled by the government of the Philippines, also operates gaming facilities across the Philippines. Our operations in the Philippines face competition from gaming operators in other more established gaming centers across the region, particularly those of Macau and Singapore, and other major gaming markets located around the world, including Australia and Las Vegas, as we target similar pools of customers and tourists. A number of such other operators have a longer track record of gaming operations and such other markets have more established reputations as gaming markets. Our operations in the Philippines may not be successful in its efforts to attract foreign customers and independent gaming promoters to City of Dreams Manila, and to promote Manila as a gaming destination.

In Macau, some competitors have opened new properties, expanded operations and/or have announced intentions for further expansion and developments in Cotai, where City of Dreams and Studio City are located. For example, Galaxy opened Phase 2 of the Galaxy Macau Resort in May 2015. Sands China Ltd., a subsidiary of Las Vegas Sands Corporation, opened the Parisian Macao in Cotai in September 2016. Wynn Macau opened the Wynn Palace in Cotai in August 2016. MGM Grand Paradise opened MGM Cotai in February 2018. SJM has also begun construction of an additional project which has been announced to open in 2019. See “Item 4. Information on the Company — B. Business Overview — Market and Competition.”

We also compete to some extent with casinos located in other countries, such as Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere in the world, including Las Vegas and Atlantic City in the United States. In addition, in December 2016, a law which conceptually enables the development of integrated resorts in Japan took effect. Certain other countries, such as Taiwan and Thailand, may also in the future legalize casino gaming and may not be subject to as stringent regulation as the Macau and/or Philippine markets. We also compete with cruise ships operating out of Hong Kong and other areas of Asia that offer gaming. The proliferation of gaming venues in Asia could also significantly and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and prospects.

Currently, Macau is the only region in Greater China offering legal casino gaming. Although the Chinese government has strictly enforced its regulations prohibiting domestic gaming operations, there may be casinos in parts of China that are operated illegally and without licenses. In addition, there is no assurance that China will not in the future permit domestic gaming operations. Competition from casinos in China, legal or illegal, could materially adversely affect our business, results of operations, financial condition, cash flows and prospects.

Our regional competitors also include casino resorts that Melco International may develop elsewhere in Asia Pacific outside Macau. Melco International may develop different interests and strategies for projects in Asia which conflict with the interests of our business in Macau or otherwise compete with us for Asian gaming and leisure customers. See “— Risks Relating to Our Corporate Structure and Ownership.”

 

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The governments in Macau and the Philippines could grant additional rights to conduct gaming in the future, which could significantly increase competition and cause us to lose or be unable to gain market share.

In Macau, Melco Resorts Macau is one of the six companies authorized by the Macau government to operate gaming activities. Pursuant to the terms of Macau Law No. 16/2001, or the Macau Gaming Law, the Macau government is precluded from granting more than three gaming concessions. Each concessionaire was permitted to enter into a subconcession agreement with one subconcessionaire. The Macau government is currently considering the process of renewing, extending or granting gaming concessions or subconcessions for concessions and subconcessions expiring in 2020 and 2022. The policies and laws of the Macau government could result in the grant of additional concessions or subconcessions, and we could face additional competition which could significantly increase the competition in Macau and cause us to lose or be unable to maintain or gain market share, and as a result, adversely affect our business.

In the Philippines, PAGCOR has issued regular gaming licenses to the Philippine Licensees and one other company and additional provisional gaming licenses to two other companies in the Philippines for the development and operation of integrated casino resorts. PAGCOR has also licensed private casino operators in special economic zones, including four in the Clark Ecozone, one in Poro Point, La Union, one in Binangonan, Rizal and one in the Newport City CyberTourism Zone, Pasay City. The Regular License granted by PAGCOR to the Philippine Licensees is non-exclusive, and there is no assurance that PAGCOR will not issue additional gaming licenses, or that it will limit the number of licenses it issues. Any additional gaming licenses issued by PAGCOR could increase competition in the Philippine gaming industry, which could diminish the value of the Philippine Licensees’ Regular License. This could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations in the Philippines.

Any simultaneous planning, design, construction and development of any projects may stretch our management’s time and resources, which could lead to delays, increased costs and other inefficiencies in the development of these projects.

There may be overlap in the planning, design, development and construction periods of our projects. Members of our senior management will be involved in planning and developing our projects at the same time, in addition to overseeing our day-to-day operations. Our management may be unable to devote sufficient time and attention to such projects, as well as our operating properties, which may result in delays in the construction or opening of any of our current or future projects, cause construction cost overruns or cause the performance of our operating properties to be lower than expected, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our business depends substantially on the continuing efforts of our senior management, and our business may be severely disrupted if we lose their services.

We place substantial reliance on the gaming, project development and hospitality industry experience and knowledge of the Macau and Philippine markets possessed by members of our board of directors, our senior management team, as well as other management personnel. We may experience changes in our key management in the future, including for reasons beyond our control. The loss of Mr. Lawrence Ho’s services or the services of the other members of our board of directors or key management personnel could hinder our ability to effectively manage our business and implement our growth and development strategies. Finding suitable replacements for members of our board of directors or key management personnel could be difficult, and competition for personnel of similar experience could be intense in Macau and the Philippines. In addition, we do not currently carry key person insurance on any members of our senior management team.

The success of our business depends on our ability to attract and retain an adequate number of qualified personnel. A limited labor supply and increased competition could cause labor costs to increase.

The pool of experienced gaming and other skilled and unskilled personnel in Macau and the Philippines is limited. Our demand remains high for personnel occupying sensitive positions that require

 

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qualifications sufficient to meet gaming regulations and other requirements or skills and knowledge that would need substantial training and experience. Competitive demand for qualified gaming and other personnel is expected to be intensified by the increased number of properties recently opened and expected to open in close proximity to our properties in Macau and the Philippines. The limited supply and increased competition in the labor market could cause our labor costs to increase.

Macau government policy prohibits us from hiring non-Macau resident dealers and supervisors. In addition, the Macau government announced it will continue to monitor the proportion of management positions held by Macau residents and implement measures to ensure such proportion remains no less than 85% of senior and mid-management positions. Due to the increased competition in the labor market and the relevant regulatory restrictions, we cannot assure you that we will be able to attract and retain a sufficient number of qualified individuals to operate our properties, or that costs to recruit and retain such personnel will not increase significantly. The inability to attract and retain qualified employees and management personnel could have a material adverse effect on our business.

Further, the Macau government is currently enforcing a labor policy pursuant to which the ratio of local to foreign workers that may be recruited is determined on a case-by-case basis and, in relation to construction works, must be at least 1:1 unless otherwise authorized by the Macau government. Such a policy could have a material adverse effect on our ability to complete works on our properties, such as Morpheus, the third phase of City of Dreams, and the additional development of the land on which Studio City is located. Moreover, if the Macau government enforces similar restrictive ratios in other areas, such as the gaming, hotel and entertainment sectors, or imposes additional restrictions on the hiring of foreign workers generally, this could have a material adverse effect on the operation of our properties.

In the Philippines, the Regular License requires that at least 95.0% of City of Dreams Manila’s total employees be locally hired. Our inability to recruit a sufficient number of employees in the Philippines to meet this provision or to do so in a cost-effective manner may cause us to lower our hiring standards, which may have an adverse impact on City of Dreams Manila’s service levels, reputation and business.

Moreover, casino resort employers may also contest the hiring of their former employees by us. There can be no assurance that any such claim will not be successful or other similar claims will not be brought against us or any of our affiliates in the future. In the event any such claim is found to be valid, we could suffer losses and face difficulties in recruiting from competing operators. If found to have basis by courts, these allegations could also result in possible civil liabilities on us or our relevant officers if such officers are shown to have deliberately and willfully condoned a patently unlawful act.

Our insurance coverage may not be adequate to cover all losses that we may suffer from our operations. In addition, our insurance costs may increase and we may not be able to obtain the same insurance coverage in the future.

We currently have various insurance policies providing certain coverage typically required by gaming and hospitality operations in Macau. In addition, we maintain various types of insurance policies for our Philippine business and operations, including mainly property damage, business interruption and general liability insurance policies, and a surety bond required by PAGCOR, which secures the prompt payment by Melco Resorts Leisure of the monthly Licensee Fees due to PAGCOR. These insurance policies provide coverage that is subject to policy terms, conditions and limits. There is no assurance that we will be able to renew such insurance coverage on equivalent premium costs, terms, conditions and limits upon their expiration. The cost of coverage may in the future become so high that we may be unable to obtain the insurance policies we deem necessary for the operation of our projects on commercially practicable terms, or at all, or we may need to reduce our policy limits or agree to certain exclusions from our coverage.

We cannot assure you that any such insurance policies we obtained or may obtain will be adequate to protect us from material losses. Certain acts and events could expose us to significant uninsured losses. In

 

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addition to the damages caused directly by a casualty loss such as fire or natural disasters, we may suffer a disruption of our business as a result of these events or be subject to claims by third parties who may be injured or harmed. While we intend to continue carrying business interruption insurance and general liability insurance, such insurance may not be available on commercially reasonable terms, or at all, and, in any event, may not be adequate to cover all losses that may result from such events.

There is limited available insurance in Macau and the Philippines and our insurers in Macau and the Philippines may need to secure reinsurance in order to provide adequate cover for our property and development projects. Our credit agreements, Melco Resorts Macau’s subconcession contract with Wynn Macau relating to the gaming concession in Macau (the “Subconcession Contract”), the Regular License granted by PAGCOR and certain other material agreements require a certain level of insurance to be maintained, which must be obtained in Macau and the Philippines, respectively, unless otherwise authorized by the respective counter-parties. Failure to maintain adequate coverage could be an event of default under our credit agreements, the Subconcession Contract or the Regular License and may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

The winnings of our patrons could exceed our casino winnings at particular times during our operations.

Our revenues are mainly derived from the difference between our casino winnings and the winnings of our casino patrons. Since there is an inherent element of chance in the gaming industry, we do not have full control over our winnings or the winnings of our casino patrons. If the winnings of our patrons exceed our casino winnings, we may record a loss from our gaming operations, and our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.

Win rates for our casino operations depend on a variety of factors, some beyond our control, which, at particular times, adversely impact our results of operations.

In addition to the element of chance, theoretical win rates are also affected by other factors, including player skills and experience, the mix of games played, the financial resources of players, the spread of table limits, the volume and mix of bets placed by our players and the amount of time players spend on gambling — thus our actual win rates may differ greatly over short time periods, such as from quarter to quarter, and could cause our quarterly results to be volatile. Each of these factors, alone or in combination, have the potential to negatively impact our win rates, and our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.

Our gaming business is subject to the risk of cheating and counterfeiting.

All gaming activities at our table games are conducted exclusively with gaming chips which, like real currency, are subject to the risk of alteration and counterfeiting. We incorporate a variety of security and anti-counterfeit features to detect altered or counterfeit gaming chips. Despite such security features, unauthorized parties may try to copy our gaming chips and introduce, use and cash in altered or counterfeit gaming chips in our gaming areas. Any negative publicity arising from such incidents could also tarnish our reputation and may result in a decline in our business, financial condition and results of operation.

Gaming customers may attempt or commit fraud or cheat in order to increase their winnings, possibly in collusion with the casino’s staff. Internal acts of cheating could also be conducted by staff through collusion with dealers, surveillance staff, floor managers or other gaming area staff. Our existing surveillance and security systems, designed to detect cheating at our casino operations, may not be able to detect all such cheating in time or at all, particularly if patrons collude with our employees. In addition, our gaming promoters or other persons could, without our knowledge, enter into betting arrangements directly with our casino patrons on the outcomes of our games of chance, thus depriving us of revenues.

 

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Our operations are reviewed to detect and prevent cheating. Each game has a theoretical win rate and statistics are examined with these in mind. Cheating may give rise to negative publicity and such action may materially affect our business, financial condition, operations and cash flows.

Terrorism, violent criminal acts and the uncertainty of war and other factors affecting discretionary consumer spending and leisure travel may reduce visitation to Macau and the Philippines and harm our operating results.

The strength and profitability of our business will depend on consumer demand for integrated resorts and leisure travel in general. Recent terrorist and violent criminal activities in Europe, the United States, Southeast Asia and elsewhere, military conflicts in the Middle East and natural disasters such as typhoons, tsunamis and earthquakes, among other things, have negatively affected travel and leisure expenditures. For example, in June 2017, there were multiple deaths at the Resorts World Manila entertainment complex in Pasay, Metro Manila, Philippines when a gunman caused a stampede and set fire to casino tables and slot machine chairs. Terrorism and other criminal acts, including acts of violence or kidnappings of patrons or employees, could have a negative impact on international travel and leisure expenditures, including lodging, gaming and tourism. We cannot predict the extent to which such acts may affect us, directly or indirectly, in the future.

In addition, other factors affecting discretionary consumer spending, including amounts of disposable consumer income, fears of recession, lack of consumer confidence in the economy, change in consumer preferences, high energy, fuel and other commodity costs and increased cost of travel may negatively impact our business. An extended period of reduced discretionary spending and/or disruptions or declines in airline travel could materially adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Macau and the Philippines are susceptible to typhoons, heavy rainstorms and other natural disasters that may damage our property and disrupt our operations.

The subtropical climate and location of both Macau and the Philippines render them susceptible to typhoons, heavy rainstorms and other natural disasters. In the event of a major typhoon, such as Typhoon Hato in Macau in August 2017, or other natural disasters in Macau or the Philippines, our properties may be severely disrupted and adversely affected. Any flooding, unscheduled interruption in the technology or transportation services or interruption in the supply of public utilities is likely to result in an immediate and possibly substantial loss of revenues due to a shutdown of any of our properties. Although we or our operating subsidiaries do carry certain insurance coverage with respect to these events, our coverage may not be sufficient to fully indemnify us against all direct and indirect costs, including loss of business, which could result from substantial damage to, or partial or complete destruction of, our properties or other damages to the infrastructure or economy of Macau or the Philippines.

An outbreak of widespread health epidemics, contagious disease or other outbreaks may have an adverse effect on the economies of certain Asian countries and may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our business could be materially and adversely affected by the outbreak of widespread health epidemics, such as swine flu, avian influenza, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), Zika or Ebola. Any occurrence of such a health epidemic, prolonged outbreak of an epidemic illness or other adverse public health developments in China or elsewhere in the world could materially disrupt our business and operations. Such events could also significantly impact our industry and cause a temporary closure of the facilities we use for our operations, which would severely disrupt our operations and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Guangdong Province in China, which is located across the Zhuhai Border from Macau, has confirmed several cases of avian flu. Fully effective avian flu vaccines have not been developed and there is evidence that the H5N1 virus is constantly evolving so there can be no assurance that an effective vaccine can be discovered or commercially

 

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manufactured in time to protect against any potential avian flu pandemic. In the first half of 2003, certain countries in Asia experienced an outbreak of SARS, a highly contagious form of atypical pneumonia, which seriously interrupted economic activities and caused the demand for goods and services to plummet in the affected regions.

There can be no assurance that an outbreak of swine flu, avian influenza, SARS, MERS, Zika, Ebola or other contagious disease or any measures taken by the governments of affected countries against such potential outbreaks will not seriously interrupt our gaming operations. The perception that an outbreak of any health epidemic or contagious disease may occur may also have an adverse effect on the economic conditions of countries in Asia. In addition, our operations could be disrupted if any of our employees or others involved in our operations were suspected of having swine flu, avian influenza, SARS, MERS, Zika or Ebola as this could require us to quarantine some or all of such employees or persons or disinfect the facilities used for our operations. Furthermore, any future outbreak may restrict economic activities in affected regions, which could result in reduced business volume and the temporary closure of our offices or otherwise disrupt our business operations and adversely affect our results of operations. Our revenues and profitability could be materially reduced to the extent that a health epidemic or other outbreak harms the global or PRC economy in general.

Health and safety or food safety incidents at our properties may lead to reputational damage and financial exposures.

We provide goods and services to a significant number of customers on a daily basis at our properties in Macau and Manila. In particular, with attractions, entertainment and food and beverage offerings at our properties, there are risks of health and safety incidents or adverse food safety events. While we have a number of measures and controls in place aimed at managing such risks, we cannot guarantee that our insurance is adequate to cover all losses, which may subject us to incur additional costs and damages, and negatively impact our financial performance. Such incidents may also lead to reduced customer flow and reputational damage to our properties. See “— We are subject to risks relating to litigation, disputes and regulatory investigations which may adversely affect our profitability and financial condition.”

Unfavorable fluctuations in the currency exchange rates of the H.K. dollar, U.S. dollar, Pataca or Philippine peso and other risks related to foreign exchange and currencies, including restrictions on conversions and/or repatriation of foreign currencies, could adversely affect our indebtedness, expenses, profitability and financial condition.

Our exposure to foreign exchange rate risk is associated with the currency of our operations and our indebtedness and as a result of the presentation of our financial statements in U.S. dollar. The majority of our current revenues are denominated in H.K. dollar, given the H.K. dollar is the predominant currency used in gaming transactions in Macau and is often used interchangeably with the Pataca in Macau. Our current expenses are denominated predominantly in Pataca, H.K. dollar and Philippine peso. In addition, we have revenues, assets, debt and expenses denominated in Philippine peso relating to our business in the Philippines. We also have subsidiaries, branch offices and assets in various countries, including Taiwan, which are subject to foreign exchange fluctuations and local regulations that may impose, among others, limitations, restrictions or approval requirements on conversions and/or repatriation of foreign currencies. In addition, a significant portion of our indebtedness, including the 2017 Senior Notes and Studio City Notes, and certain expenses, are denominated in U.S. dollar, and the costs associated with servicing and repaying such debt will be denominated in U.S. dollar.

The value of the H.K. dollar, Pataca and Philippine peso against the U.S. dollar may fluctuate and may be affected by, among other things, changes in political and economic conditions. While the H.K. dollar is pegged to the U.S. dollar within a narrow range and the Pataca is in turn pegged to the H.K. dollar, and the exchange rates between these currencies has remained relatively stable over the past several years, we cannot assure you that the current peg or linkages between the U.S. dollar, H.K. dollar and Pataca will not be de-pegged, de-linked or otherwise modified and subject to fluctuations. Any significant fluctuations in

 

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exchange rates between the H.K. dollar, Pataca or Philippine peso to the U.S. dollar may have a material adverse effect on our revenues and financial condition. For example, to the extent that we are required to convert U.S. dollar financings into H.K. dollar or Pataca for our operations, fluctuations in exchange rates between the H.K. dollar or Pataca against the U.S. dollar could have an adverse effect on the amounts we receive from the conversion.

While we maintain a certain amount of our operating funds in the same currencies in which we have obligations in order to reduce our exposure to currency fluctuations, we have not engaged in hedging transactions with respect to foreign exchange exposure of our revenues and expenses in our day-to-day operations during the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016. In addition, we may face regulatory, legal and other risks in connection with our assets and operations in certain jurisdictions that may impose limitations, restrictions or approval requirements on conversions and/or repatriation of foreign currencies. We will consider our overall procedure for managing our foreign exchange risk from time to time, but we cannot assure you that any such procedures will enable us to obtain and achieve effective hedging of our foreign exchange risk, which could materially and adversely affect our financial condition and operating results.

We may undertake mergers, acquisitions, strategic transactions or investments that could result in operating difficulties and distractions from our current businesses and subject us to regulatory and legal inquiries and proceedings.

We have made, and may in the future make, acquisitions and investments in companies or projects to expand or complement our existing operations. From time to time, we engage in discussions and negotiations with companies regarding acquisitions or investments in such companies or projects. We may, from time to time, receive inquiries from regulatory and legal authorities and become subject to regulatory and legal proceedings in connection with such acquisitions and investments in companies or projects. In addition, if we acquire or invest in another company or project, the integration process following the completion of such acquisition may prove more difficult than anticipated. We may be subject to liabilities or claims that we are not aware of at the time of the investment or acquisition, and we may not realize the benefits anticipated at the time of the investment or acquisition. These difficulties could disrupt our ongoing business, distract our management and employees, increase our expenses and liabilities and adversely affect our businesses, financial condition and operating results. Even if we do identify suitable opportunities, we may not be able to make such acquisitions or investments on commercially acceptable terms or adequate financing may not be available on commercially acceptable terms, if at all, and we may not be able to consummate a proposed acquisition or investment.

In addition, we may expand our operations and enter new regions and markets through mergers, acquisitions, strategic transactions or investments. Such expansion may subject us to:

 

    additional costs for complying with local laws, rules, regulations and policies as well as other local practices and customs in new markets, including establishing business and regulatory compliance programs;

 

    currency exchange rate fluctuations or currency restructurings;

 

    limitations or penalties on the repatriation of earnings;

 

    unforeseen changes in regulatory requirements;

 

    uncertainties as to local laws and enforcement of contract and intellectual property rights; and

 

    changes in government, economic and political policies and conditions, political or civil unrest, acts of terrorism or the threat of international boycotts.

These factors and the impact of these factors on our business and operations are difficult to predict and may have material adverse effect on our business and prospects, financial condition and results of operations.

 

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We are subject to risks relating to litigation, disputes and regulatory investigations which may adversely affect our profitability and financial condition.

We are, and may in the future be, subject to legal actions, disputes and regulatory investigations in the ordinary course of our business. We are also subject to risks relating to legal and regulatory proceedings and investigations which we or our affiliates may be a party to from time to time, or which could develop in the future, as well as fines or other penalties which may be imposed on us in connection with any requisite permit, license or other approval for our business and operations. Litigation and regulatory proceedings can be costly and time-consuming and may divert management attention and resources from our operations. We could incur significant defense costs and, in the event of an adverse outcome, be required to pay damages and interest to the prevailing party and, depending on the jurisdiction of the litigation, be held responsible for the costs of the prevailing party. Our reputation may also be adversely affected by our involvement or the involvement of our affiliates in litigation and regulatory proceedings. In addition, we and our affiliates operate in a number of jurisdictions in which regulatory and government authorities have wide discretion to take procedural actions in support of their investigations and regulatory proceedings, including seizures and freezing of assets and other properties that are perceived to be connected or related to such investigations or regulatory proceedings. Given such wide discretion, regulatory or government authorities may take procedural actions that may affect our assets and properties in connection with any investigation or legal or regulatory proceeding involving us or any of our affiliates, which may materially affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.

In addition, if we are unsuccessful in defending against any claims alleging that we received misappropriated or misapplied funds, this may require further improvements to our existing anti-money laundering procedures, systems and controls and our business operations may be subject to greater scrutiny from relevant regulatory authorities, all of which may increase our compliance costs. No assurance can be provided that any provisions we have made for such matters will be sufficient. Litigation and regulatory proceedings and investigation are inherently unpredictable and our results of operations or cash flows may be adversely affected by an unfavorable resolution of any pending or future litigation, disputes and regulatory investigation.

We extend credit to a portion of our customers, and we may not be able to collect gaming receivables from our credit customers.

We conduct, and expect to continue to conduct, our gaming activities at our casinos on a credit basis as well as a cash basis. Consistent with customary practice in both the Macau and the Philippines gaming markets, we grant credit to our gaming promoters and certain of our premium direct players. Gaming promoters bear the responsibility for issuing credit and subsequently collecting the credit they granted. We extend credit, often on an unsecured basis, to certain gaming promoters and VIP patrons whose level of play and financial resources warrant such an extension in our opinion. High-end patrons typically are extended more credit than patrons who wager lower amounts. Any slowdown in the economy could adversely impact our VIP patrons, which could in turn increase the risk that these clients may default on credit extended to them.

We may not be able to collect all of our gaming receivables from our credit customers. We expect that we will be able to enforce our gaming receivables only in a limited number of jurisdictions, including Macau, the Philippines and under certain circumstances, Hong Kong. As most of our gaming customers in Macau are visitors from other jurisdictions, principally Hong Kong and China, we may not have access to a forum in which we will be able to collect all of our gaming receivables because, among other reasons, courts in many jurisdictions, including China, do not enforce gaming debts. Further, we may be unable to locate assets in other jurisdictions against which recovery of gaming debts can be sought. The collectability of receivables from our credit customers, and, in particular, our international credit customers, could be negatively affected by future business or economic trends or by significant events in the jurisdictions in which these customers reside, or in which their assets are located. We may also, in certain cases, have to determine whether aggressive enforcement actions against a customer will unduly alienate the customer and cause the customer to cease playing at our casinos. We could suffer a material adverse impact on our operating results if receivables from our credit customers are

 

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deemed uncollectible. In addition, in the event a credit customer suffers losses in connection with any gaming activities at our properties and receivables from such customer are uncollectible, Macau gaming taxes or Philippines license fees (as the case may be) will still be payable on the resulting gaming revenues, notwithstanding any receivables owed by such customer to us may be uncollectible. An estimated allowance for doubtful debts is maintained to reduce our receivables to their carrying amounts, which approximate fair values.

Our business and financial plans may be negatively impacted by any contraction in the availability of credit.

Our business and financing plans may be dependent upon the completion of future financings. Any severe contraction of liquidity in the global credit markets may make it difficult and costly to obtain new lines of credit or to refinance existing debt, and may place broad limitations on the availability of credit from credit sources as well as lengthen the recovery cycle of extended credit. Any deterioration in the credit environment may cause us to have difficulty in obtaining additional financing on acceptable terms, or at all, which could adversely affect our ability to complete current and future projects. Tightening of liquidity conditions in credit markets may also constrain revenue generation and growth and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Rolling chip patrons and VIP gaming customers may cause significant volatility in our revenues and cash flows.

A significant proportion of our casino revenues in Macau is generated from the rolling chip segment of the gaming market. Similarly, City of Dreams Manila also attracts foreign gaming visitors, particularly VIP players who typically place large individual wagers. The loss or a reduction in the play of the most significant of these rolling chip patrons or VIP gaming customers could have an adverse effect on our business. In addition, revenues and cash flows derived from high-end gaming of this type are typically more volatile than those from other forms of gaming primarily due to high bets and the resulting high winnings and losses. As a result, our business and results of operations and cash flows from operations may be more volatile from quarter to quarter than that of our competitors and may require higher levels of cage cash in reserve to manage this volatility.

We depend upon gaming promoters for a portion of our gaming revenues and if we are unable to establish, maintain and increase the number of successful relationships with gaming promoters or if the financial resources of our gaming promoters are insufficient to allow them to continue doing business in Macau and/or Manila, our results of operations could be adversely impacted.

Customers introduced to us by gaming promoters are responsible for a portion of our gaming revenues in Macau and Manila. For the year ended December 31, 2017, approximately 31.4% of our casino revenues were derived from customers sourced through our rolling chip gaming promoters. With the rise in casino operations in Macau and Manila, the competition for relationships with gaming promoters has increased and is expected to continue to increase. As of December 31, 2017, we had agreements in place with approximately 55 and 20 gaming promoters in Macau and the Philippines, respectively. If we are unable to utilize, maintain and/or develop relationships with gaming promoters, our ability to grow our gaming revenues will be hampered and we will have to seek alternative ways to develop and maintain relationships with rolling chip patrons, which may not be as profitable as relationships developed through gaming promoters. As competition intensifies, we may therefore need to offer better terms to gaming promoters, including extensions of credit, which may increase our overall credit exposure. In addition, gaming promoters may encounter difficulties in attracting patrons to come to Macau or Manila. Gaming promoters may also experience decreased liquidity, limiting their ability to grant credit to their patrons, resulting in decreased gaming volume in Macau or Manila. Credit already extended by our gaming promoters may become increasingly difficult to collect. Also, in the event the Macau government reduces the cap on the commission rates payable to gaming promoters, gaming promoters’ incentives to bring travelers to casinos in Macau would be further diminished, and certain of the gaming promoters may be forced to cease operations or divert the travelers to other regions. This inability to attract sufficient patrons, settle accounts with patrons, grant credit and collect amounts due in a timely manner may negatively affect our gaming

 

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promoters’ operations, causing them to wind up or liquidate their operations, and as a result, our ability to maintain or grow casino revenues and our ability to recover credit extended may be adversely affected. The inability of gaming promoters to settle accounts with their patrons may expose such gaming promoters to litigation proceedings initiated by affected patrons, which may also expose us to additional litigation risk.

We are impacted by the reputation and integrity of the parties with whom we engage in business activities and we cannot assure you that these parties will always maintain high standards or suitability throughout the term of our association with them. Failure to maintain such high standards or suitability may cause us and our shareholders to suffer harm to our own and our shareholders’ reputation, as well as impair relationships with, and possibly result in sanctions from, gaming regulators.

The reputation and integrity of the parties with whom we engage in business activities are important to our own reputation and our ability to continue to operate in compliance with the permits and licenses required for our businesses. These parties include, but are not limited to, those who are engaged in gaming-related activities, such as gaming promoters, developers and hotel, restaurant and night club operators with whom we have or may enter into services or other types of agreements. Under the Macau Gaming Law, Melco Resorts Macau has an obligation to supervise its gaming promoters to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations and serious breaches or repeated misconduct by its gaming promoters could result in the termination of its subconcession. For parties we deal with in gaming-related activities, where relevant, the gaming regulators also undertake their own probity checks and will reach their own suitability findings in respect of the activities and parties with which we intend to associate. In addition, we also conduct our internal due diligence and evaluation process prior to engaging such parties. Notwithstanding such regulatory probity checks and our own due diligence, we cannot assure you that the parties with whom we are associated will always maintain the high standards that gaming regulators and we require or that such parties will maintain their suitability throughout the term of our association with them. If any of our gaming promoters violate gaming laws while on our premises, the government may, in its discretion, take enforcement action against the gaming promoters and may find us jointly liable for such gaming promoter’s violations. Also, if a party associated with us falls below the gaming regulator’s suitability standard or if their probity is in doubt, this may be negatively perceived when assessed by the gaming regulators. As a result, we and our shareholders may suffer reputational harm, as well as impaired relationships with, and possibly sanctions or other measures or actions from, the relevant gaming regulators with authority over our operations.

Any violation of anti-corruption laws, including the FCPA, could have a negative impact on us.

We and our businesses in different jurisdictions are subject to a number of anti-corruption laws, including the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, or FCPA. Breach of these anti-corruption laws carries severe criminal and civil sanctions as well as other penalties and reputational harm. There have been increased enforcement activities in the US and elsewhere in recent years and the number of FCPA cases and sanctions imposed by US authorities has risen considerably. We have adopted strict rules of conduct and compliance programs for our employees, agents and contractors, requiring them to conduct all their business dealings and practices in compliance with our policies and relevant anti-corruption laws. Notwithstanding our emphasis on an ethical business culture, there is no assurance that our employees, contractors and agents will adhere fully, or at all, or continue to adhere to our rules and programs. Should they fail to adhere to our rules of conduct and compliance programs, we may be investigated or prosecuted, or be made subject to other actions or proceedings. Penalties, sanctions and administrative remedies that may result from such actions or proceedings may have a material adverse effect on our reputation and customer relationships or may lead to other adverse consequences on our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations.

A failure to establish and protect our intellectual property rights could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We have applied for and/or registered certain trademarks, including “Altira,” “Mocha Club,” “City of Dreams,” “Nüwa,” “The Countdown,” “City of Dreams Manila,” “Studio City,” “Melco Resorts Philippines” and

 

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“Melco Resorts & Entertainment” in Macau, the Philippines and/or other jurisdictions. We have also registered in Macau, the Philippines and other jurisdictions certain other trademarks and service marks used in connection with the operations of our hotel casino projects in Macau and City of Dreams Manila. We endeavor to establish and protect our intellectual property rights through trademarks, service marks, domain names, licenses and other contractual provisions. The brands we use in connection with our properties have gained recognition. Failure to possess, obtain or maintain adequate protection of our intellectual property rights could negatively impact our brands and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. For example, if third parties misappropriate or infringe our intellectual property, we may need to take steps to protect our intellectual property, which may result in substantial expenses, all of which may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

The infringement or alleged infringement of intellectual property rights belonging to third parties could adversely affect our business.

We face the potential risk of claims that we have infringed upon the intellectual property rights of third parties, which could be expensive and time-consuming to defend. In addition, we may be required to cease using certain intellectual property rights or selling or providing certain products or services, pay significant damages or enter into costly royalty or licensing agreements in order to obtain the right to use a third party’s intellectual property rights (if available at all), any of which could have a negative impact on our business, financial condition and future prospects. Furthermore, if litigation were to result from such claims, our business could be interrupted.

We cannot assure you that anti-money laundering policies that we have implemented, and compliance with applicable anti-money laundering laws, will be effective to prevent our casino operations from being exploited for money laundering purposes.

Macau’s free port, offshore financial services and free movement of capital has created an environment whereby Macau’s casinos could be exploited for money laundering purposes. We also deal with significant amounts of cash during our regular casino operations in the Philippines. As our Macau and Philippine operations are subject to various reporting and anti-money laundering regulations, we have implemented anti-money laundering policies to address those requirements. Philippine laws on anti-money laundering have recently been amended to include casinos as covered institutions and guidelines on compliance are expected to be issued by PAGCOR for its licensees. Any changes to anti-money laundering laws and regulations in Macau and/or the Philippines may require us to adopt changes to our own anti-money laundering policies.

We cannot assure you that our contractors, agents or employees will continually adhere to any such current or future policies or these policies will be effective in preventing our casino operations from being exploited for money laundering purposes, including from jurisdictions outside of Macau or the Philippines.

There can be no assurance that, despite the anti-money laundering measures we have adopted and undertaken, we would not be subject to any accusation or investigation related to any possible money laundering activities. In addition, we expect to be required by regulatory authorities from Macau, the Philippines and other jurisdictions to attend meetings and interviews from time to time to discuss our operations as they relate to anti-money laundering laws and regulations during which regulatory authorities may make inquiries and take other actions at their discretion. Any incident of money laundering, accusation of money laundering or regulatory investigations into possible money laundering activities involving us, our employees, our gaming promoters, our customers or others with whom we are associated could have a material adverse impact on our reputation, business, cash flow, financial condition, prospects and results of operations. Any serious incident of, or repeated violation of, laws related to money laundering or any regulatory investigation into money laundering activities may cause a revocation or suspension of the subconcession or the Regular License. For more information regarding anti-money laundering regulations in Macau and the Philippines, see “Item 4. Information on the Company — B. Business Overview — Regulations — Macau Regulations — Anti-Money Laundering

 

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Regulations in Macau” and “Item 4. Information on the Company — B. Business Overview — Regulations — Philippines Regulations — Anti-Money Laundering Regulations in the Philippines.”

Our information technology and other systems are subject to cyber security risk, including misappropriation of customer information or other breaches of information security, as well as regulatory and other risks.

We rely on information technology and other systems (including those maintained by third-parties with whom we contract to provide data services) to maintain and transmit large volumes of customer information, credit card settlements, credit card funds transmissions, mailing lists and reservations information and other personally identifiable information. We also maintain important internal company data such as personally identifiable information about our employees and information relating to our operations. The systems and processes we have implemented to protect customers, employees and company information are subject to the ever-changing risk of compromised security. These risks include cyber and physical security breaches, system failure, computer viruses, and negligent or intentional misuse by customers, company employees or employees of third-party vendors as well as ransomware attacks that encrypt, exfiltrate or otherwise render data unusable or unavailable in an effort to extort money or other consideration as a condition to purportedly returning the data to a usable form or refraining from selling or otherwise releasing the data. The steps we take to deter and mitigate these risks may not be successful and our insurance coverage for protecting against cyber security risks may not be sufficient. Our third-party information system service providers face risks relating to cyber security similar to ours, and we do not directly control any of such service providers’ information security operations. A significant theft, loss or fraudulent use of customer or company data maintained by us or by a third-party service provider could have an adverse effect on our reputation, cause a material disruption to our operations and management team, and result in remediation expenses, regulatory penalties and litigation by customers and other parties whose information was subject to such attacks, all of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects, results of operations and cash flows. Furthermore, any extended downtime from power supply disruptions or information technology system outages which may be caused by cyber security attacks or other reasons at our properties may lead to an adverse impact on our operating results if we are unable to deliver services to customers for an extended period of time.

Our collection and use of personal data are governed by privacy laws and regulations and this area of law is an area that changes often and varies significantly by jurisdiction. Compliance with applicable privacy regulations may increase our operating costs and/or adversely impact our ability to market our products, properties and services to our customers and guests. In addition, non-compliance with applicable privacy regulations by us (or in some circumstances non-compliance by third parties engaged by us) or a breach of security on systems storing our data may result in damage of reputation and/or subject us to fines, payment of damages, lawsuits, criminal liability or restrictions on our use or transfer of data.

Negative press or publicity about us or our directors, officers or affiliates may lead to government investigations, result in harm to our business, brand or reputation and have a material and adverse effect on our business.

Unfavorable publicity regarding us, or our directors, officers or affiliates, whether substantiated or not, may have a material and adverse effect on our business, brand and reputation. Such negative publicity may require us to engage in a defensive media campaign, which may divert our management’s attention, result in an increase in our expenses and adversely impact our results of operations or financial condition. The continued expansion in the use of social media over recent years has compounded the potential scope of the negative publicity that could be generated. Any negative press or publicity could also lead to government or other regulatory investigations, including causing regulators with jurisdiction over our gaming operations in Macau and the Philippines to take action against us or our related licensees, including actions that could affect the ability or terms upon which our subsidiaries hold their gaming licenses and/or subconcession, our suitability to continue as a shareholder of those subsidiaries and/or the suitability of key personnel to remain with our Company. If any of these events were to occur, it would cause a material adverse effect on our business and prospects, financial condition and results of operations.

 

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The audit report included in this annual report has been prepared by auditors whose work may not be inspected fully by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board and, as such, you may be deprived of the benefits of such inspection.

Our independent registered public accounting firms that issue the audit reports included in our annual reports filed with the SEC as auditors of companies that are traded publicly in the United States and firms registered with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States), or the PCAOB, are required by the laws of the United States to undergo regular inspections by the PCAOB to assess their respective compliance with the laws of the United States and professional standards.

Many other clients of our auditors have substantial operations within mainland China, and the PCAOB has been unable to complete inspections of the work of our auditors, and/or their affiliated independent registered public accounting firms in mainland China, without the approval of the Chinese authorities. Thus, our auditors, and/or their affiliated independent registered public accounting firms in mainland China, and their audit work are not currently inspected fully by the PCAOB.

Inspections of other firms that the PCAOB has conducted outside mainland China have identified deficiencies in those firms’ audit procedures and quality control procedures, which can be addressed as part of the inspection process to improve future audit quality. The lack of PCAOB inspections in mainland China prevents the PCAOB from regularly evaluating our auditors’ audit procedures and quality control procedures as they relate to their work, and/or their affiliated independent registered public accounting firms’ work, in mainland China. As a result, investors may be deprived of the benefits of such regular inspections.

The inability of the PCAOB to conduct full inspections of auditors in mainland China makes it more difficult to evaluate the effectiveness of our auditors’ audit procedures and quality control procedures as compared to auditors who primarily work in jurisdictions where the PCAOB has full inspection access. Investors may lose confidence in our reported financial information and the quality of our financial statements.

Risks Relating to the Gaming Industry and Our Operations in Macau

Studio City faces significant risks and uncertainties which may materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Studio City commenced operations in October 2015. While we have made significant capital investments for the development of Studio City, the Studio City land grant conditions, including, among others, completing the development of the land on which Studio City is located, require additional capital investments for Studio City.

Furthermore, Studio City operates in a challenging competitive environment. For example, some of our competitors in Macau have expanded operations or have announced intentions for further expansion and developments in Cotai, where Studio City is located. See “— We face intense competition in Macau, the Philippines and elsewhere in Asia and may not be able to compete successfully.” Moreover, we face risks and uncertainties related to changes to the Chinese and Macau governments’ policies and regulations relating to gaming markets, including those affecting gaming table allocation and caps, smoking restrictions, exchange control and repatriation of capital, measures to control inflation and monetary transfers and travel restrictions. In addition, the 250 mass market gaming tables permitted to be operated at the Studio City Casino by Melco Resorts Macau are designated for mass market purposes only and there is no assurance or expectation that such tables may be operated as VIP tables in the future as the Macau government has determined that tables authorized for mass market gaming operations may not be utilized for VIP gaming operations, or any assurance or expectation that any additional gaming tables will be allocated to Studio City Casino, including any VIP gaming tables. Furthermore, gaming promoters, whose business affects Studio City Casino’s VIP gaming business and which accounts for an increasing portion of its gaming revenues, also face an increasingly challenging regulatory environment, which may result in a reduction in the number of gaming promoters from which Studio City Casino

 

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may attract junket players and such remaining gaming promoters having significant leverage and bargaining strength in negotiating agreements for Studio City Casino, negotiating changes to such agreements or the loss of business to competitors or the loss of relationships with certain gaming promoters. See “— “We depend upon gaming promoters for a portion of our gaming revenues and if we are unable to establish, maintain and increase the number of successful relationships with gaming promoters or if the financial resources of our gaming promoters are insufficient to allow them to continue doing business in Macau and/or Manila, our results of operations could be adversely impacted.”

In addition, Studio City may find it challenging to comply with the terms imposed under its financing arrangements, especially during periods of challenging market conditions (including changes in China’s economy). The 2021 Studio City Senior Secured Credit Facility and the indentures governing the Studio City Notes impose certain operating and financial restrictions, including limitations on the ability to pay dividends, incur additional debt, make investments, create liens on assets or issue preferred stock. If we are unable to comply with such restrictions, it could cause repayment of our debt to be accelerated. In addition, such terms may also impair our ability to obtain additional financing for developing and completing the remaining land of Studio City by July 24, 2021, in which case in the event no extension is granted to complete such development or the Studio City land concession is terminated, we could lose all or substantially all of our investment in Studio City, including our interest in land and buildings and we may not be able to continue to operate Studio City. See “— The agreements governing our credit facilities and debt instruments contain certain covenants that restrict our ability to engage in certain transactions and may impair our ability to respond to changing business and economic conditions or otherwise take actions that may be in our best interests” and “We are developing Morpheus, the third phase of City of Dreams, and will be developing the remaining project for Studio City under the terms of land concession contracts which require us to fully develop the lands on which City of Dreams and Studio City are located by June 11, 2018 and July 24, 2021, respectively. If we do not complete development by that time and the Macau government does not grant us an extension of the development period, we could be forced to forfeit all or part of our investment in City of Dreams or Studio City, along with our interest in the land on which City of Dreams and/or Studio City are located and the buildings and structures on such land.”

All of the foregoing trends, risks and uncertainties may have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our gaming operations in Macau could be adversely affected by restrictions on the export of the Renminbi.

Gaming operators in Macau are currently prohibited from accepting wagers in Renminbi, the currency of China. There are currently restrictions on the export of the Renminbi outside of mainland China, including to Macau. For example, Chinese citizens traveling abroad are only allowed to take a total of RMB20,000 plus the equivalent of up to US$5,000 out of China. Moreover, it was recently announced that a new annual limit of RMB100,000 (US$15,370) on the aggregate amount that can be withdrawn overseas from Chinese bank accounts was set by the Chinese government, with effect on January 1, 2018. In addition, the Chinese government’s ongoing anti-corruption campaign has led to tighter monetary transfer regulations, including real-time monitoring of certain financial channels, reducing the amount that China-issued ATM cardholders can withdraw in each withdrawal, imposing a limit on the annual aggregate amount that may be withdrawn and the launch of facial recognition and identity card checks with respect to certain ATM users, which could disrupt the amount of money visitors can bring from mainland China to Macau. Furthermore, on June 12, 2017, a new law with respect to the control of cross-border transportation of cash and other negotiable instruments to the bearer was enacted and came into effect on November 1, 2017. In accordance with such law, all individuals entering Macau with an amount in cash or negotiable instrument to the bearer equal to or higher than the amount of MOP120,000 (US$14,975) as determined by the Chief Executive of Macau are required to declare such amount to the customs authorities. Restrictions on the export of the Renminbi may impede the flow of gaming customers from China to Macau, inhibit the growth of gaming in Macau and negatively impact our operations.

 

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Gaming is a highly regulated industry in Macau and adverse changes or developments in gaming laws or other regulations that affect our operations could be difficult to comply with or may significantly increase our costs, which could cause our projects to be unsuccessful.

Gaming is a highly regulated industry in Macau. Current laws, such as licensing requirements, tax rates and other regulatory obligations, including those for anti-money laundering, could change or become more stringent resulting in additional regulations being imposed upon gaming operations in Macau. Any such adverse developments in the regulation of the gaming industry could be difficult to comply with and could significantly increase costs, which could cause our properties to be unsuccessful and adversely affect our financial performance. See “— The gaming industries in Macau and the Philippines are highly regulated.”

In September 2009, the Macau government set a cap on commission payments to gaming promoters of 1.25% of net rolling. This policy may limit our ability to develop successful relationships with gaming promoters and attract VIP rolling chip players, which in turn may adversely affect the financial performance of our VIP rolling chip operations. Any failure to comply with these regulations may result in the imposition of liabilities, fines and other penalties and may materially and adversely affect our subconcession. The Macau government is currently considering amending the Macau Administrative Regulation no. 6/2002. The Macau government is, among other things, proposing more stringent and restrictive licensing requirements for gaming promoters, the imposition of new penalties and the increase of the amounts of current fines. See “Regulations — Macau Regulations — Gaming Promoters Regulations.” Increased regulatory scrutiny of gaming promoters in Macau has resulted, and may continue to result, in the cessation of business of certain gaming promoters, thereby resulting in remaining gaming promoters having significant leverage and bargaining strength in negotiating agreements, including negotiating changes to existing agreements, or the loss of business to competitors or the loss of relationships with certain gaming promoters.

In addition, the Macau government imposed regulations and restrictions that affect the minimum age required for entrance into casinos in Macau, location requirements for sites with gaming machine lounges, data privacy and other matters. Any such legislation, regulation or restriction imposed by the Macau government may have a material adverse impact on our operations, business and financial performance. Furthermore, our inability to address any of these requirements or restrictions imposed by the Macau government could adversely affect our reputation and result in criminal or administrative penalties, in addition to any civil liability and other expenses. See “Regulations — Macau Regulations — Gaming Regulations.”

Also, the Macau government enacted a smoking control legislation which went into effect on January 1, 2013, which generally prohibits smoking on the premises of casinos, except for an area of up to 50% of the casino area open to the public, as determined by the Dispatch of the Chief Executive of Macau. In addition, effective as of October 2014, smoking in general access gaming areas is only permitted in segregated smoking lounges, where no gaming activity is permitted. Smoking in limited access gaming areas, such as VIP gaming rooms, may be permitted, subject to prior authorization from the Chief Executive of Macau. Moreover, in July 2017, Law no. 9/2017 amended the Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Law, with effect from January 1, 2018, under which smoking on the premises of casinos shall only be permitted in segregated smoking lounges with no gaming activities, and such segregated smoking lounges are required to be set up within a transition period of one year subsequent to the effective date. During the transition period, existing smoking areas and smoking lounges can be maintained. Our properties currently have a number of designated smoking areas. We cannot assure you that the Macau government will not enact more stringent smoking control legislations. Such limitations imposed on smoking have and may deter potential gaming patrons who are smokers from frequenting casinos in Macau, which could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition. See “Regulations — Macau Regulations — Smoking Regulations.

Furthermore, in March 2010, the Macau government announced that the number of gaming tables operating in Macau should not exceed 5,500 until the end of the first quarter of 2013. On September 19, 2011, the Secretary for Economy and Finance of the Macau government announced that for a period of ten years

 

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thereafter, the total number of gaming tables to be authorized in Macau will increase by an amount equal to an average 3% per annum for ten years. The Macau government subsequently clarified that the allocation of tables over this ten-year period does not need to be uniform and tables may be pre-allocated to new properties in Macau. There is no assurance that we will be allocated any new gaming tables authorized by the Macau government, including in connection with the expansion of any existing properties or for any new properties we may develop in Macau.

The Macau government has also determined that tables authorized by the Macau government for mass market gaming operations may not be utilized for VIP gaming operations. These restrictions are not legislated or enacted into statutes or ordinances and, as such, different policies, including in relation to the annual increase rate in the number of gaming tables, may be adopted, and existing policies amended, at any time by the relevant Macau government authorities.

Current Macau laws and regulations concerning gaming and gaming concessions and matters such as prevention of money laundering are fairly recent or there is little precedent on the interpretation of these laws and regulations. These laws and regulations are complex and a court or an administrative or regulatory body may in the future render an interpretation of these laws and regulations or issue new or modified regulations that differ from our interpretation, which could have a material adverse effect on the operation of our properties and on our financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and prospects.

Our activities in Macau are subject to administrative review and approval by various departments of the Macau government. For example, our business activities are subject to the administrative review and approval by the DICJ, Macau health department, Macau labor bureau, Macau public works bureau, Macau fire department, Macau finance department and Macau government tourism office. We cannot assure you that we will be able to obtain or maintain all necessary approvals, which may materially affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and prospects. Macau law permits redress to the courts with respect to administrative actions. However, such redress is largely untested in relation to gaming regulatory issues.

The Macau government has established a maximum number of gaming tables that may be operated in Macau and may limit the number of new gaming tables at new gaming areas in Macau.

The Macau government has imposed a cap on gaming tables and restricts the number of gaming tables that may be operated in Macau. A cap of 5,500 tables up to the end of the first quarter of 2013 was implemented. In addition, for a period of ten years commencing from the second quarter of 2013, the number of gaming tables to be authorized by the Macau government will be limited to an average annual increase of 3%. According to the DICJ, the number of gaming tables in Macau as of December 31, 2017, was 6,419. The Macau government has reiterated further that it does not intend to authorize the operation of any new casino or gaming area that was not previously authorized by the government, or permit tables authorized for mass market gaming operations to be utilized for VIP gaming operations or authorize the expansion of existing casinos or gaming areas. Given such announcements by the Macau government, we may not be able to obtain Macau government’s approval to expand our existing casinos or gaming areas or operate a sufficient number of gaming tables at our properties in Macau. These restrictions may have a material impact on our gaming revenues, overall business and operations and may adversely affect our development projects and the future expansion of our business.

Our business and operations in Macau are dependent upon our subconcession and, if we fail to comply with the complex legal and regulatory regime in Macau, our subconcession may be subject to revocation.

Under the terms of the Subconcession Contract, we are obligated to comply with all laws, regulations, rulings and orders promulgated by the Macau government from time to time. In addition, we must comply with all the terms of the Subconcession Contract which contains various general covenants and provisions, such as general and special duties of cooperation, special duties of information and obligations in relation to the execution of our investment plan, as to which the determination of compliance is subjective and depend, in part,

 

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on our ability to maintain continuing communications and good faith negotiations with the Macau government to ensure that we are performing our obligations under the subconcession in a manner that would avoid any violations. We cannot assure you that we will perform such covenants in a way that satisfies the requirements of the Macau government.

Under Melco Resorts Macau’s subconcession, the Macau government is allowed to request various changes in the plans and specifications of our Macau properties and impose business and corporate requirements that may be binding on us. For example, the Macau Chief Executive has the right to require that we increase Melco Resorts Macau’s share capital or that we provide certain deposits or other guarantees of performance with respect to the obligations of our Macau subsidiaries. Melco Resorts Macau must also first obtain the Macau government’s approval before raising certain financing. As a result, we cannot assure you that we will be able to comply with these requirements or any other requirements of the Macau government or with the other requirements and obligations imposed by the subconcession.

The harshest penalty that may be imposed on us for failure to comply with the complex legal and regulatory regime in Macau and the terms of the Subconcession Contract is revocation of the subconcession. Under the subconcession, the Macau government has the right to unilaterally terminate the subconcession in the event of non-compliance by Melco Resorts Macau with its basic obligations under the subconcession and applicable Macau laws. If such a termination were to occur, all of our casino premises and gaming equipment would revert to the Macau government automatically without compensation to us and Melco Resorts Macau would be unable to operate casino gaming in Macau, which would have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows and could result in defaults under our indebtedness agreements and a partial or complete loss of our investments in our projects. We would also be unable to recover the US$900 million consideration paid to Wynn Macau for the issue of the subconcession. For a list of termination events, see “Item 4. Information on the Company — B. Business Overview — Regulations — Gaming Licenses — The Subconcession Contract in Macau.” These events could lead to the termination of Melco Resorts Macau’s subconcession without compensation to Melco Resorts Macau. In many of these instances, the Subconcession Contract does not provide for a specific cure period within which any such events may be cured and the granting of any cure period, if at all, would be at the discretion of the Macau government.

Currently, there is no precedent on how the Macau government will treat the termination of a concession or subconcession and many of the laws and regulations relating to termination of a concession or subconcession have not yet been applied by the Macau government. Accordingly, the scope and enforcement of the provisions of Macau’s gaming regulatory system cannot be fully assessed.

Melco Resorts Macau’s Subconcession Contract expires in 2022 and if we were unable to secure an extension of its subconcession, or a new concession or subconcession, in 2022, or if the Macau government were to exercise its redemption right, we would be unable to operate casino gaming in Macau.

The Subconcession Contract expires on June 26, 2022. Unless it is extended beyond this expiration date, a new concession or subconcession is granted and/or legislation on reversion of casino premises is amended, all of our casino premises and gaming-related equipment under Melco Resorts Macau’s subconcession will automatically revert to the Macau government without compensation and we will cease to generate revenues from such operations.

In addition, under the Subconcession Contract, the Macau government has the right, beginning from 2017, to redeem the Subconcession Contract by providing us with at least one year’s prior notice. In the event the Macau government exercises this redemption right, we would be entitled to compensation. Calculation of the amount of any such compensation would be determined based on the gross revenues generated by City of Dreams during the tax year immediately prior to the exercise of the redemption, multiplied by number of years of the remaining term of the subconcession. We would not receive any further compensation (including for consideration paid to Wynn Macau for the subconcession). We cannot assure you that Melco Resorts Macau

 

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would be able to renew or extend the Subconcession Contract, or secure any new concession or subconcession, on terms favorable to us, or at all. We also cannot assure you that if Melco Resorts Macau’s subconcession were redeemed, the compensation paid would be adequate to compensate us for the loss of future revenues.

Melco Resorts Macau’s tax exemption from complementary tax on income from gaming operations under the subconcession tax will expire in 2021, and we may not be able to extend it.

Companies in Macau are subject to complementary tax of up to 12% of taxable income, as defined in relevant tax laws. We are also subject to a 35% special gaming tax on our gaming revenues as well as other levies of 4% imposed under the Subconcession Contract. Such other levies may be subject to change in the event the Subconcession Contract is renegotiated and as a result of any change in relevant laws. The Macau government granted to Melco Resorts Macau the benefit of a corporate tax holiday on gaming profits in Macau until 2021. In addition, the Macau government has granted to one of our subsidiaries in Macau the complementary tax exemption until 2021 on profits generated from income received from Melco Resorts Macau, to the extent that such income is derived from Studio City gaming operations and has been subject to gaming tax. The dividend distributions of such subsidiary to its shareholders continue to be subject to complementary tax. We cannot assure you that the corporate tax holiday benefits will be extended beyond their expiration dates.

During the five-year period from 2012 through 2016, an annual payment of MOP22.4 million (equivalent to approximately US$2.8 million) was payable by Melco Resorts Macau, effective retroactively from 2012 through 2016, with respect to tax due for dividend distributions to the shareholders of Melco Resorts Macau from gaming profits, whether such dividends are actually distributed by Melco Resorts Macau or not, or whether Melco Resorts Macau has distributable profits in the relevant year. For the five-year period from 2017 through 2021, the annual payment payable by Melco Resorts Macau is of MOP18.9 million (equivalent to approximately US$2.4 million. Upon the payment of such payment amount, the shareholders of Melco Resorts Macau will not be liable to pay any other tax in Macau for dividend distributions received from gaming profits. We cannot assure you that the same arrangement will be applied beyond 2021 or that, in the event a similar arrangement is adopted, whether we will be required to pay a higher annual sum.

Risks Relating to the Gaming Industry and Our Business in the Philippines

The land and buildings comprising the site occupied by City of Dreams Manila is leased by Melco Resorts Leisure and thus subject to risks associated with tenancy relationships.

Melco Resorts Leisure entered into a lease agreement on October 25, 2012, which became effective on March 13, 2013 (“Lease Agreement”), pursuant to which it leases from Belle Corporation the land and buildings occupied by City of Dreams Manila, which, in turn, leases part of the land from the Philippine government’s social security system (the “Social Security System”). Numerous potential issues or causes for disputes may arise from a tenancy relationship, such as with respect to the provision of utilities on the premises and the maintenance and normal repair of the buildings, any of which could result in an arbitrable dispute between Belle Corporation and Melco Resorts Leisure. There can be no assurance that any such dispute would be resolved or settled amicably or expediently or that Melco Resorts Leisure will not encounter any material issues with respect to its tenancy relationship with Belle Corporation. Furthermore, during the pendency of any dispute, Belle Corporation, as lessor, could discontinue essential services necessary for the operation of City of Dreams Manila, or seek relief to oust Melco Resorts Leisure from possession of the leased premises. Any prolonged or substantial dispute between Belle Corporation and Melco Resorts Leisure, or any dispute arising under the lease agreement between Belle Corporation and the Social Security System, could have a material adverse effect on the operations of City of Dreams Manila, which would in turn adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, any negative publicity arising from disputes with, or non-compliance by, Belle Corporation with the Lease Agreement would have a material adverse effect on our business and prospects, financial condition and results of operations.

Furthermore, the Lease Agreement may be terminated under certain circumstances, including Melco Resorts Leisure’s non-payment of rent, or if either party fails to substantially perform any material covenants

 

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under the Lease Agreement and fails to remedy such non-performance in a timely manner, which would cause a material adverse effect on our business and prospects, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

If the termination of certain agreements which Belle Corporation previously entered into with another casino operator and other third parties is not effective, such operator and third parties may seek to enforce these agreements against Belle Corporation or MRP as a co-licensee of Belle Corporation, which could adversely impact City of Dreams Manila and MRP.

Prior to Melco Resorts Leisure being designated as the sole operator under the Provisional License, Belle Corporation, for itself and on behalf of the other Philippine Parties, had previously entered into contracts with another operator and certain third-party contractors for the fit-out and other design work related to City of Dreams Manila in its previous form. Belle Corporation and the other Philippine Parties subsequently elected to terminate such contracts and the operator with whom Belle Corporation previously contracted, on behalf of itself and such third-party contractors, signed a waiver releasing the Philippine Parties from all obligations thereunder. Although Belle Corporation agreed to indemnify the Melco Philippine Parties from any loss suffered in connection with the termination of such contracts, there can be no assurance that Belle Corporation will honor such agreement. Any issues which may arise from such contracts and their counterparties, or any attempt by another operator or any other third party contractor to enforce provisions under such contracts, could interfere with MRP’s operations or cause reputational damage, which would in turn materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Compliance with the terms of the Regular License, MRP’s ability to operate City of Dreams Manila and the success of City of Dreams Manila as a whole are dependent on the actions of the other Philippine Licensees over which MRP has no control.

Although Melco Resorts Leisure is the sole operator of City of Dreams Manila, the ability of the Melco Philippine Parties to operate City of Dreams Manila, as well as the fulfillment of the terms of the Regular License granted by PAGCOR in relation to City of Dreams Manila, depends to a certain degree on the actions of the Philippine Parties. For example, the Philippine Parties, as well as the Melco Philippine Parties, are responsible for meeting a certain debt to equity ratio as specified in the Regular License. The failure of any of the Philippine Parties to comply with these conditions would constitute a breach of the Regular License. As the Philippine Parties are separate corporate entities over which MRP has no control, there can be no assurance that the Philippine Parties will remain in compliance with the terms of the Regular License of their obligations and responsibilities under the Philippine Cooperation Agreement. In the event of any non-compliance, there can be no assurance that the Regular License will not be suspended or revoked. In addition, if any of the Philippine Parties fails to comply with any of the conditions to the Regular License, MRP may be forced to take action against the Philippine Parties under the Philippine Cooperation Agreement or to enter into negotiations with PAGCOR for amendments to the Regular License. There can be no assurance that any attempt to amend the Regular License would be successful. Any of the foregoing could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Furthermore, under the Philippine Cooperation Agreement, the Philippine Parties are required to contribute the land and building structures for City of Dreams Manila. There can be no assurance that the title to the land and building structures for City of Dreams Manila will not be challenged by third parties or the Philippine government in the future. Any such event, each of which is beyond MRP’s control, may curtail the ability of MRP to operate City of Dreams Manila in an efficient manner or at all and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Melco Resorts Leisure’s right to operate City of Dreams Manila is subject to certain limitations.

Melco Resorts Leisure’s right to operate City of Dreams Manila is subject to certain limitations under the operating agreement for the management and operation of City of Dreams Manila, entered into among Melco

 

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Resorts Leisure and the Philippine Parties. For example, Melco Resorts Leisure is prohibited from entering into any contract for City of Dreams Manila outside the ordinary course of the operation and management of City of Dreams Manila with an aggregate contract value exceeding US$3.0 million (such contract value to be increased by 5.0% each year on each anniversary date of the operating agreement) without the consent of the other Philippine Licensees. In addition, Melco Resorts Leisure is required to remit specified percentages of the mass market and VIP gaming earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization or net revenues derived from City of Dreams Manila to PremiumLeisure and Amusement Inc. (“PLAI”).

If Melco Resorts Leisure is unable to comply with any of the provisions of the operating agreement, the other parties to the operating agreement may bring lawsuits and seek to suspend or replace Melco Resorts Leisure as the sole operator of City of Dreams Manila, or terminate the operating agreement. Moreover, the Philippine Parties may terminate the operating agreement if Melco Resorts Leisure materially breaches the operating agreement. Termination of the operating agreement, whether resulting from Melco Resorts Leisure’s or the Philippine Parties’ non-compliance with the operating agreement, would cause a material adverse effect on our business and prospects, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Melco Resorts Leisure may be forced to suspend VIP gaming operations at City of Dreams Manila under certain circumstances.

Under the operating agreement for City of Dreams Manila, Melco Resorts Leisure must periodically calculate, on a 24-month basis, the respective amounts of VIP gaming earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization derived from City of Dreams Manila (the “PLAI VIP EBITDA”) and VIP gaming net win derived from City of Dreams Manila pursuant to the operating agreement (the “PLAI VIP Net Win”) and report such amounts to the Philippine Parties. If the PLAI VIP EBITDA is less than the PLAI VIP Net Win, the Philippine Licensees must meet within ten business days to discuss and review City of Dreams Manila’s financial performance and agree on any changes to be made to the business operations of City of Dreams Manila and/or to the payment terms under the operating agreement. If such an agreement cannot be reached within 90 business days, Melco Resorts Leisure must suspend VIP gaming operations at City of Dreams Manila.

Any suspension of VIP gaming operations at City of Dreams Manila would materially adversely impact gaming revenues from City of Dreams Manila. Moreover, suspension of VIP gaming operations could effectively lead Melco Resorts Leisure to limit or suspend certain non-gaming operations focusing on VIP players, such as the VIP hotel and VIP lounge, which would further reduce revenues from City of Dreams Manila. Any suspension of VIP gaming operations, even for a brief period of time, could also damage the reputation and reduce the attractiveness of City of Dreams Manila as a premium gaming destination, particularly among premium direct players and other VIP players, as well as gaming promoters, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Increased competition in the Philippine gaming market may affect City of Dreams Manila’s business and results of operations.

The three other holders of PAGCOR licenses in Entertainment City continue to develop their businesses. Any significant increase in gaming facilities available in the region where City of Dreams Manila is located would intensify competition. The operation of City of Dreams Manila would in turn need to increase its competitiveness in order to keep pace with any increased competitiveness of the Philippine gaming market.

MRP may not be able to implement an effective business strategy to keep pace with the developing competition in the Philippine gaming market. Any failure by MRP to improve its competitiveness within the Philippine gaming market or take advantage of the opportunities presented by a developing market may have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.

 

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City of Dreams Manila’s ability to generate revenues depends to a substantial degree on the development of Manila and the Philippines as a tourist and gaming destination.

The integrated casino resort and gaming industry in the Philippines is in an early stage of development and has a limited track record. It is difficult to evaluate the attractiveness of each of Entertainment City, Manila, and the Philippines, in general, as viable gaming destinations to domestic and international visitors. City of Dreams Manila’s ability to generate revenue depends to a substantial degree on the continued development of the Philippines as a tourist and gaming destination, which in turn depends on several factors beyond the control of MRP, including the Philippine government’s ability to successfully promote the Philippines as an attractive tourist destination, general promotion of the Philippines by the Philippine Department of Tourism and key tourism companies, the development of transportation and tourism infrastructure, consumer preferences and other factors in the Philippines and the region. Should the Philippines fail to continue to develop as a tourist destination or should Entertainment City or Manila fail to become a widely recognized regional gaming destination, City of Dreams Manila may fail to attract a sufficient number of visitors, which would cause a material adverse effect on our business and prospects, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

MRP’s strategy to attract Premium Market customers to City of Dreams Manila may not be effective.

A part of MRP’s strategy for City of Dreams Manila is to capture a share of the premium gaming market in the region. Compared to general market patrons, whose typical wagers are relatively low, premium market patrons usually have higher minimum bets. Despite its targeted marketing efforts, there can be no assurance that the premium market customers will be incentivized to play in City of Dreams Manila rather than in comparable properties in Macau or elsewhere in the region, as these players may be unfamiliar with the Philippines or refuse to change their normal gaming destination. If MRP is unable to expand in the premium market as it intends, this would adversely affect its and/or our business and results of operations.

Changes in public acceptance of gaming in the Philippines may adversely affect City of Dreams Manila.

Public acceptance of gaming changes periodically in various gaming locations in the world and represents an inherent risk to the gaming industry. In addition, the Philippine Catholic Church, community groups, non-governmental organizations and individual government officials have, on occasion, taken strong and explicit stands against gaming. PAGCOR has in the past been subject to lawsuits by individuals trying to halt the construction of casinos in their communities. Church leaders have on occasion called for the abolition of PAGCOR. There can be no guarantee that negative sentiments will not be expressed in the future against City of Dreams Manila or integrated casino resorts in general, which may reduce the number of visitors to City of Dreams Manila and materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

MRP may be unable to successfully register City of Dreams Manila as a tourism enterprise zone with the Philippine Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority, an agency of the Philippine Department of Tourism (“TIEZA”).

While Melco Resorts Leisure intends to apply for a designation as a tourism enterprise with TIEZA, there can be no assurance that TIEZA will approve the designation of Melco Resorts Leisure as a tourism enterprise. If Melco Resorts Leisure is unable to register as a tourism enterprise with TIEZA, it will not be entitled to certain fiscal incentives provided to some of Melco Resorts Leisure’s competitors that are registered as tourism enterprises under TIEZA. For example, MRP’s liability for value added tax (“VAT”) on its sales largely depends on whether it may avail itself of tax incentives under TIEZA. If tax incentives under TIEZA are not available to MRP, it will be liable for VAT, which may result in a material adverse effect on our business and prospects, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

In addition, if Melco Resorts Leisure is able to register as a tourism enterprise with TIEZA, it will then be required to withdraw its current registration as a tourism economic zone enterprise with the Philippine

 

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Economic Zone Authority. The process of shifting from a tourism economic zone enterprise under the Philippine Economic Zone Authority to a tourism enterprise under TIEZA is uncertain. There is also uncertainty with respect to the fiscal incentives that may be provided to a registered tourism enterprise under TIEZA. Any of the foregoing results could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

However, several bills were previously passed and are currently pending in the Philippine legislature with a view towards rationalizing fiscal incentives currently granted to certain enterprises and activities, including tourism enterprises. It is uncertain whether these bills will be passed into law, or what the effect, if any, will be on the incentives currently granted to qualified tourism enterprises under the Tourism Act of 2009.

MRP’s gaming operations are dependent on the Regular License issued by PAGCOR.

PAGCOR regulates all gaming activities in the Philippines except for lottery, sweepstakes, jueteng, horse racing and gaming inside the Cagayan Export Zone. City of Dreams Manila’s gaming areas may only legally operate under the Regular License granted by PAGCOR, which imposes certain requirements on the Melco Philippine Parties and their service providers. The Regular License is also subject to suspension or termination upon the occurrence of certain events. The requirements imposed by the Regular License include, among others:

 

    payment of monthly license fees to PAGCOR;

 

    maintenance of a debt-to-equity ratio (based on calculation as agreed with PAGCOR) for each of the Philippine Licensees of no greater than 70:30;

 

    at least 95.0% of the total employees of City of Dreams Manila must be Philippine citizens;

 

    2.0% of certain casino revenues must be remitted to a foundation devoted to the restoration of cultural heritage and 5.0% of certain non-gaming revenues to PAGCOR; and

 

    operation of only the authorized casino games approved by PAGCOR.

Moreover, certain provisions and requirements of the Regular License are open to different interpretations and have not been interpreted by Philippine courts or made subject to more detailed interpretative rules. There is no guarantee that the Melco Philippine Parties’ proposed mode of compliance with these or other requirements of the Regular License will be free from administrative or judicial scrutiny in the future. Any difference in interpretation between PAGCOR and MRP with respect to the Regular License could result in sanctions against the Melco Philippine Parties, including fines or other penalties, such as suspension or termination of the Regular License.

There can be no assurance that the Philippine Licensees will be able to continuously comply with all of the Regular License’s requirements, or that the Regular License will not be modified to contain more onerous terms or amended in such a manner that would cause the Philippine Licensees to lose interest in the operation of City of Dreams Manila. If the Regular License is materially altered or revoked for any reason, including the failure by any of the Philippine Licensees to comply with its terms, MRP may be required to cease City of Dreams Manila’s gaming operations, which would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, a failure in the internal control systems of MRP may cause PAGCOR to adversely modify or revoke the Regular License. Finally, the Regular License will terminate in 2033, coinciding with the PAGCOR Charter’s termination, and there is no guarantee that the PAGCOR Charter or the Regular License will be renewed.

In addition, City of Dreams Manila’s gaming operations is highly regulated in the Philippines. As PAGCOR is also a gaming operator, there can be no assurance that PAGCOR will not withhold certain approvals from the Melco Philippine Parties in order to favor its own gaming operations. PAGCOR may also modify or

 

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impose additional conditions on its licensees or impose restrictions or limitations on Melco Resorts Leisure’s casino operations that would interfere with Melco Resorts Leisure’s ability to provide VIP services, which could adversely affect MRP’s business, financial condition and results of operations.

City of Dreams Manila may be required to obtain an additional legislative franchise, in addition to its Regular License.

On August 2, 2017, House Bill No. 6111 was passed which proposed the creation of the Philippine Amusements and Gaming Authority, or PAGA, which will replace PAGCOR as the regulatory agency of gaming activities in the Philippines. Also under House Bill No. 6111, the holders of gaming licenses in the Philippines, including the Philippine Licensees, will be required to obtain from the Congress a legislative franchise to operate gambling casinos, gaming clubs and other similar gambling enterprises within one year from the date of the proposed law’s effectiveness. Non-compliance will result in the operations of holders of gaming licenses in the Philippines, including the Philippine Licensees, to be considered as illegal. On October 2, 2017, House Bill No. 6514 was passed whose provisions are essentially similar to House Bill No. 6111, particularly on the need for holders of gaming licenses in the Philippines, including the Philippine Licensees, to obtain from Congress a legislative franchise within one year from the date of the proposed law’s effectiveness.

It is not yet known if House Bills 6111 and 6514, in their current form, will be approved by the Senate or signed into law by the President. In the event that House Bills 6111 and 6514 are signed into law, City of Dreams Manila may be required to obtain an additional legislative franchise in addition to its Regular License and there can be no assurance that such a franchise, which generally requires legislative approval after public hearings, will be granted. In addition, the Regular License may be subject to amendment or repeal by Congress. In the event City of Dreams Manila is not granted any required franchise, or the Regular License is materially amended or repealed, the operation of City of Dreams Manila may cease, which would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

There exists uncertainty over whether holders of gaming licenses in the Philippines, including the gaming operations of our Philippine subsidiaries, will be subject to corporate income, value added or other tax assessments, in addition to the license fees paid to PAGCOR.

There exists uncertainty over whether holders of gaming licenses in the Philippines, including the gaming operations of our Philippine subsidiaries, will be subject to corporate income tax at the rate of 30%, value-added tax and other tax assessments in addition to the license fees paid to PAGCOR pursuant to the Regular License. On March 2011, the Supreme Court of the Philippines issued an order implicitly revoking PAGCOR’s exemption from corporate income tax under the PAGCOR Charter and removing PAGCOR from the list of government-owned and controlled corporations that are exempt from paying corporate income tax. Subsequently, in April 2013, the Bureau of Internal Revenue of the Philippines (“BIR”) issued a circular indicating that PAGCOR and its licensees and contractees are subject to corporate income tax on their gambling, casino, gaming club and other similar recreation or amusement and gaming pool operations.

In connection with the 2011 Supreme Court decision described above, PAGCOR, in May 2014, issued a regulation allowing holders of gaming licenses in the Philippines and the other casino operators to reallocate ten percent (10%) of the monthly Licensee Fees to be remitted to PAGCOR. This 10% would be used to pay any corporate income tax that may be levied against such license holders and the other casino operators at the end of the fiscal year, and any remaining amount after paying such tax would be remitted to PAGCOR. On August 15, 2016, PAGCOR advised the holders of gaming licenses in the Philippines that the reallocation of the 10% of the Licensee Fees will be discontinued. In February 2015, the Supreme Court of the Philippines issued another decision stating that PAGCOR’s income from its gaming operations can only be subject to a five percent (5%) franchise tax, and not corporate income tax. In addition, the Supreme Court of the Philippines in its February 2015 decision ruled that despite amendments to the National Internal Revenue Code, the PAGCOR Charter remains in effect, and thus, income from gaming operations shall not be subject to corporate income tax. In

 

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August 2016, the Supreme Court of the Philippines accepted the petition filed by Bloomberry Resorts and Hotels, Inc., one of the four PAGCOR licensees and operator of Solaire, against the BIR to cease and desist from imposing corporate income tax on income derived from gaming operations. The BIR filed a motion for reconsideration of the August 2016 decision, which the Supreme Court of the Philippines denied in November 2016, and which denial has become final and executory.

Notwithstanding the 2015 and 2016 Supreme Court decisions described above, BIR has taken various measures to impose corporate income, value added and other taxes on income derived from gaming operations in the Philippines. In light of the actions and positions taken by BIR, it is uncertain whether the 2015 and 2016 Supreme Court decision described above would be enforced and there is no assurance that the 2016 Supreme Court decision would be applicable to holders of gaming licenses in the Philippines, including our Philippine subsidiaries. Furthermore, there is no assurance that the gaming operations of our Philippine subsidiaries would not become subject to value added and other tax assessments imposed by BIR and other Philippine authorities. Any assessment of corporate income, value added or other taxes on the gaming operations of our Philippine subsidiaries may be significant in amount and any requirement to pay such taxes would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

On December 19, 2017, Republic Act No. 10963, or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act (“TRAIN”), was signed into law and took effect on January 1, 2018. The TRAIN changed existing tax laws and included several provisions that will generally affect businesses on a prospective basis. Any future amendment on the TRAIN, such as changes on the application of value added and corporate income taxes, as they apply to PAGCOR or the casinos, may have significant impact on our business.

The Philippine Licensees may further be subject to other forms of taxes that may be implemented by the Philippine government in the future.

MRP is exposed to risks in relation to MRP’s previous business activities and industry.

Prior to our acquisition of MRP, MRP’s primary business was the manufacture and processing of pharmaceutical products. The pharmaceuticals industry is highly regulated in the Philippines and abroad. There can be no assurance that MRP will not be involved in or subject to claims, allegations or suits with respect to its previous activities in the pharmaceutical industry for which MRP may not be insured fully or at all. Although MRP has indemnities as to certain liabilities or claims or other protections put in place, any adverse claim or liability imputed to MRP with respect to its previous business activities could have a material adverse effect on its business and prospects, financial condition, results of operations and cash flow.

Our Philippine operations may be adversely affected by policy changes in the Philippines.

Our Philippine operations may be adversely affected by changes in policies due to changes in government personnel in the Philippines, including but not limited to any changes following elections in the Philippines. There can be no assurance that newly elected or appointed officials will not modify previous policies in relation to the development and operation of integrated tourism resorts in the Philippines, tax incentives extended to their developers or operators or policies on gaming and tourism in the Philippines in general. Newly elected or appointed officials may also impose more stringent or additional conditions on gaming licenses or seek to discourage Philippine citizens from gambling by imposing restrictions. We are unable to predict whether new officials will seek to further alter or impose stricter conditions relating to gaming in the Philippines. Adverse changes in policies and regulations by the current administration or any officials elected or appointed in the future in the Philippines could disrupt the operations of our Philippine subsidiaries and materially and adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.

 

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Risks Relating to Our Corporate Structure and Ownership

Our controlling shareholder has a substantial influence over us, and its interests in our business may be different than yours.

As of April 11, 2018, Melco International’s beneficial shareholding in Melco Resorts & Entertainment is approximately 51.06%. There are risks associated with the possibility that Melco International may: (i) have economic or business interests or goals that are inconsistent with ours; (ii) have operations and projects elsewhere in Asia or other countries that compete with our businesses in Macau and the Philippines and for available resources and management attention; (iii) take actions contrary to our policies or objectives; or (iv) have financial difficulties. In addition, there is no assurance that the laws and regulations relating to foreign investment in Melco International’s governing jurisdictions will not be altered in such a manner as to result in a material adverse effect on our business and operating results.

In addition, Melco International has the power, among other things, to elect or appoint all of the directors to our board, including our independent directors, appoint and change our management, affect our legal and capital structure and our day-to-day operations, approve material mergers, acquisitions, dispositions and other business combinations and approve any other material transactions and financings. These actions may be taken in many cases without the approval of other shareholders and the interests of Melco International may conflict with your interests as minority shareholders.

Melco International may pursue additional casino projects in Asia or elsewhere, which, along with its current operations, may compete with our projects in Macau and the Philippines, which could have material adverse consequences to us and the interests of our minority shareholders.

Melco International may take action to construct and operate new gaming projects located in other countries in the Asian region or elsewhere, which, along with its current operations, may compete with our projects in Macau and the Philippines and could have adverse consequences to us and the interests of our minority shareholders. We could face competition from these other gaming projects as well as competition from regional competitors. We expect to continue to receive significant support from Melco International in terms of its local experience, operating skills, international experience and high standards. Should Melco International decide to focus more attention on casino gaming projects located in other areas of Asia or elsewhere that may be expanding or commencing their gaming industries, or should economic conditions or other factors result in a significant decrease in gaming revenues and number of patrons in Macau and/or the Philippines, Melco International may make strategic decisions to focus on their other projects rather than us, which could adversely affect our growth.

Casinos and integrated gaming resorts are becoming increasingly popular in Asia, giving rise to more opportunities for industry participants and increasing regional competition. We cannot guarantee you that Melco International will make strategic and other decisions which do not adversely affect our business.

Changes in our share ownership, including a change of control of our subsidiaries’ shares, could result in our subsidiaries’ inability to draw loans or cause events of default under our subsidiaries’ indebtedness, or could require our subsidiaries to prepay or make offers to repurchase certain indebtedness.

Credit facility agreements relating to certain of our indebtedness contain change of control provisions, including in respect of our obligations relating to our control and/or ownership of certain of our subsidiaries and their assets. Under the terms of such credit facility agreements, the occurrence of certain change of control events, including a decline below certain thresholds in the aggregate direct or indirect shareholdings of certain of our subsidiaries held by us and/or Melco International or certain of our subsidiaries (as the case may be) may result in an event of default and/or a requirement to prepay the credit facilities in relation to such indebtedness in full. Other applicable change of control events under the credit facility agreements include the Company ceasing to be publicly listed on certain designated stock exchanges or steps being taken in connection with the liquidation or dissolution of certain of our subsidiaries.

 

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The terms of the Studio City Notes, 2017 Senior Notes and Philippine Notes also contain change of control provisions whereby the occurrence of a relevant change of control event will require us to offer to repurchase the Studio City Notes, 2017 Senior Notes or Philippine Notes (as the case may be) (and, in the case of a change of control event under the 2017 Senior Notes, which is accompanied by a ratings decline) at a price equal to 101% of their principal amount, plus accrued and unpaid interest and, if any, additional amounts and other amount specified under such indebtedness to the date of repurchase.

Any occurrence of these events could be outside our control and could result in events of default and cross-defaults which may cause the termination and acceleration of our credit facilities, the Studio City Notes, 2017 Senior Notes and Philippine Notes and potential enforcement of remedies by our lenders or note holders (as the case may be), which would have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

Risks Relating to Our Financing and Indebtedness

Our current, projected and potential future indebtedness could impair our financial condition, which could further exacerbate the risks associated with our significant leverage.

We have incurred and expect to incur, based on current budgets and estimates, secured and unsecured long-term indebtedness.

Our major outstanding indebtedness as of December 31, 2017 includes:

 

    approximately HK$3.4 billion (equivalent to approximately US$0.4 billion) under the 2015 Credit Facilities;

 

    US$1.0 billion from Melco Resorts Finance’s issuance of the 2017 Senior Notes;

 

    US$1.2 billion from Studio City Company’s issuance of the 2016 Studio City Notes;

 

    US$825.0 million from Studio City Finance’s issuance of the 2012 Studio City Notes;

 

    HK$1.0 million (equivalent to approximately US$0.1 million) under the 2021 Studio City Senior Secured Credit Facility; and

 

    PHP7.5 billion (equivalent to approximately US$150.2 million) from Melco Resorts Leisure’s issuance of the Philippine Notes.

Our expected long-term indebtedness includes:

 

    financing for a significant portion of any future projects or phases of projects. Additionally, we may incur indebtedness for the remaining project for Studio City, depending upon our cash flow position during the construction period.

Our significant indebtedness could have material consequences. For example, it could:

 

    make it difficult for us to satisfy our debt obligations;

 

    increase our vulnerability to general adverse economic and industry conditions;

 

    impair our ability to obtain additional financing in the future for working capital needs, capital expenditures, acquisitions or general corporate purposes;

 

    require us to dedicate a significant portion of our cash flow from operations to the payment of principal and interest on our debt, which would reduce the funds available to us for our operations or expansion of our existing operations;

 

    limit our flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes in our business and the industry in which we operate;

 

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    place us at a competitive disadvantage as compared to our competitors, to the extent that they are not as leveraged;

 

    subject us to higher interest expenses in the event of increases in interest rates to the extent a portion of our indebtedness bears interest at variable rates;

 

    cause us to incur additional expenses by hedging interest rate exposures of our indebtedness and exposure to hedging counterparties’ failure to pay under such hedging arrangements, which would reduce the funds available to us to fund our operations; and

 

    in the event we or one of our subsidiaries were to default, result in the loss of all or a substantial portion of our and/or our subsidiaries’ assets over which our creditors have taken or will take security.

Any of these or other consequences or events could have a material adverse effect on our ability to satisfy our other obligations.

We may require additional financing to complete our investment projects, which may not be available on satisfactory terms or at all.

We have funded our capital investment projects through, among others, cash generated from our operations, credit facilities and the issuance of debt securities. We may require additional financing in the future for our capital investment projects, which we may raise through debt or equity financing. We may be required to obtain approval from, or consent of, or notify relevant government authorities or third parties in order to enter into such financings. There is no assurance that we would be able to obtain any required approval or consent from the relevant government authorities or third parties with respect to such financing in a timely manner or at all.

Any financing related to our capital investment projects may also be subject to, among others, the terms of credit facilities, the 2017 Senior Notes, the Studio City Notes, the Philippine Notes and any future financings. In addition, our ability to obtain debt or equity financing on acceptable terms depends on a variety of factors that are beyond our control, including market conditions, investors’ and lenders’ perceptions of, and demand for, debt and equity securities of gaming companies, credit availability and interest rates. For example, changes in ratings outlooks may subject us to rating agency downgrades, which could make it more difficult for us to obtain financing on acceptable terms. As a result, we cannot assure you that we will be able to obtain sufficient financing on terms satisfactory to us, or at all, to finance our capital investment projects. If we are unable to obtain such funding, our business, cash flow, financial condition, results of operations and prospects could be materially and adversely affected. We continue to explore opportunities and may, from time to time, seek to obtain new financings or refinance our outstanding debt through the international markets. Any such financing, and our evaluation thereof, will depend on the prevailing market conditions, our liquidity requirements, contractual restrictions and other factors. The amounts involved may be material.

We may not be able to generate sufficient cash flow to meet our debt service obligations.

Our ability to make scheduled payments due on our existing and anticipated indebtedness obligations, including our credit facilities, the 2017 Senior Notes, Studio City Notes and Philippine Notes, to refinance and to fund working capital needs, planned capital expenditures and development efforts will depend on our ability to generate cash. We will require generation of sufficient operating cash flow from our projects to service our current and future projected indebtedness. Our ability to obtain cash to service our existing and projected debt is subject to a range of economic, financial, competitive, legislative, regulatory, business and other factors, many of which are beyond our control, including:

 

    our future operating performance;

 

    the demand for services that we provide;

 

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    general economic conditions and economic conditions affecting Macau, the Philippines or the gaming industry in particular;

 

    our ability to hire and retain employees and management at a reasonable cost;

 

    competition; and

 

    legislative and regulatory factors affecting our operations and business.

We may not be able to generate sufficient cash flow from operations to satisfy our existing and projected indebtedness obligations or our other liquidity needs, in which case we may have to seek additional borrowings or undertake alternative financing plans, such as refinancing or restructuring our indebtedness, selling assets, reducing or delaying capital investments or seek to raise additional capital on terms that may be onerous or highly dilutive, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our operations. Our ability to incur additional borrowings or refinance our indebtedness, including our credit facilities, the 2017 Senior Notes, Studio City Notes and Philippine Notes, will depend on the condition of the financing and capital markets, our financial condition at such time and potentially governmental approval. We cannot assure you that any additional borrowing, refinancing or restructuring would be possible or that any assets could be sold or, if sold, the timing of any sale or the amount of proceeds that would be realized from any such sale. We cannot assure you that additional financing could be obtained on acceptable terms, if at all, or would be permitted under the terms of our various debt instruments then in effect, including the indentures governing the 2017 Senior Notes, Studio City Notes and Philippine Notes. In addition, any failure to make scheduled payments of interest or principal on our outstanding indebtedness would likely result in a reduction of our credit rating, which would harm our ability to incur additional indebtedness on commercially reasonable terms or at all. Our failure to generate sufficient cash flow to satisfy our existing and projected indebtedness obligations or other liquidity needs, or to refinance our obligations on commercially reasonable terms or at all, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

The agreements governing our credit facilities and debt instruments contain certain covenants that restrict our ability to engage in certain transactions and may impair our ability to respond to changing business and economic conditions or otherwise take actions that may be in our best interests.

The agreements governing our credit facilities and debt instruments contain restrictions on our ability to engage in certain transactions and may limit our ability to respond to changing business and economic conditions or otherwise take actions that may be in our best interests. These restrictions include, among other things, limitations on our ability and the ability of our restricted subsidiaries or other members of our obligor group to:

 

    pay dividends or distributions or repurchase equity;

 

    make loans, payments on certain indebtedness, distributions and other restricted payments or apply revenues earned in one part of our operations to fund development costs or cover operating losses in another part of our operations;

 

    incur additional debt, including guarantees;

 

    make certain investments;

 

    create liens on assets to secure debt;

 

    enter into transactions with affiliates;

 

    issue shares of subsidiaries;

 

    enter into sale-leaseback transactions;

 

    engage in other businesses;

 

    merge or consolidate with another company;

 

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    undergo a change of control;

 

    transfer, sell or otherwise dispose of assets;

 

    issue disqualified stock;

 

    create dividend and other payment restrictions affecting subsidiaries;

 

    designate restricted and unrestricted subsidiaries; and

 

    vary Melco Resorts Macau’s Subconcession Contract or Melco Resorts Macau’s and certain of its subsidiaries’ land concessions and certain other contracts.

Certain of our credit facilities and debt instruments also require us to satisfy various financial covenants, which include requirements for minimum interest coverage ratio and leverage ratios. For more information on financial covenants we are subject to under our credit facilities and debt instruments, see note 11 to the consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this annual report. Future indebtedness or other agreements may contain covenants more restrictive than those contained in our existing credit facilities and debt instruments.

In addition, certain of our credit facilities and debt instruments are secured by mortgages, assignment of land use rights, leases or equivalents, security over shares, charges over bank accounts, security over assets and other customary security over the assets of our Macau subsidiaries. In the event of a default under such credit facilities and debt instruments, the holders of such secured indebtedness would first be entitled to payment from their collateral security, and only then would holders of our Macau subsidiaries’ unsecured debt be entitled to payment from their remaining assets.

Our ability to comply with the terms of our outstanding credit facilities and debt instruments may be affected by general economic conditions, industry conditions and other events outside of our control. As a result, we may not be able to maintain compliance with these covenants. In addition, if our properties’ operations fail to generate adequate cash flow, we may violate these covenants, causing a default under our agreements, upon which creditors could terminate their commitments to lend to us, accelerate repayment of the debt and declare all amounts borrowed due and payable or terminate the agreements, as the case may be. Furthermore, our credit facilities and debt instruments contain cross-acceleration or cross-default provisions, as a result of which our default under one facility or instrument may cause the acceleration of repayment of debt or result in a default under our other facilities or instruments. If any of these events occur, we cannot assure you that our assets and cash flow would be sufficient to repay in full all of our indebtedness, or that we would be able to find alternative financing. Even if we do obtain alternative financing, we cannot assure you that it would be on terms that are favorable or acceptable to us.

Drawdown or rollover of advances under our credit facilities involve satisfaction of extensive conditions precedent and our failure to satisfy such conditions precedent will result in our inability to utilize or roll over loan advances under such facilities. There is no assurance that we will be able to satisfy all conditions precedent under our current or future credit facilities.

Our current and future credit facilities, including the 2015 Credit Facilities and the 2021 Studio City Senior Secured Credit Facility, require and will require satisfaction of extensive conditions precedent prior to the advance or rollover of loans under such facilities. The satisfaction of such conditions precedent may involve actions of third parties and matters outside of our control, such as government consents and approvals. If there is a breach of any terms or conditions of our credit facilities or other obligations and the breach is not cured or capable of being cured, such conditions precedent will not be satisfied. The inability to draw down or roll over loan advances under any credit facility may result in a funding shortfall in our operations and we may not be able to fulfill our obligations as planned. Such events may also result in an event of default under the respective credit facility and may also trigger cross-defaults under our other indebtedness obligations. There can be no assurance

 

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that all conditions precedent to draw down or roll over loan advances under our credit facilities will be satisfied in a timely manner or at all. If we are unable to draw down or roll over loan advances under any current or future facility, we may have to find a new group of lenders and negotiate new financing terms or consider other financing alternatives. If required, it is possible that new financing would not be available or would have to be procured on substantially less attractive terms, which could harm the economic viability of the relevant development project. The need to arrange such alternative financing would likely also delay the construction and/or operations of our future projects or existing properties, which would affect our cash flows, results of operations and financial condition.

Any inability to maintain current financing or obtain future financing could result in delays in our project development schedule and could impact our ability to generate revenues from operations at our present and future projects.

If we are unable to maintain our current financing arrangements or obtain suitable financing for our operations and our current or future projects (including any acquisitions we may make), such failure could adversely impact our existing operations, or cause delays in, or prevent completion of, the development of Morpheus, the third phase of City of Dreams, and the remaining land for Studio City and any other future projects. In addition, such failure may also limit our ability to operate and expand our business and may adversely impact our ability to generate revenue. Furthermore, the costs incurred by any new financing may be greater than anticipated due to unfavorable market conditions. Any such increase in funding costs may have a negative impact on our revenue and financial condition.

Risks Relating to Our Shares and ADSs

The trading price of our ADSs has been volatile since our ADSs began trading on Nasdaq and may be subject to fluctuations in the future. The market price for our shares may also be volatile, which could result in substantial losses to investors.

The trading price of our ADSs has been and may continue to be subject to wide fluctuations. Our ADSs were first quoted on the Nasdaq Global Market, or Nasdaq, beginning on December 19, 2006, and were upgraded to trade on the Nasdaq Global Select Market since January 2, 2009. During the period from December 19, 2006 to April 11, 2018, the trading prices of our ADSs ranged from US$2.27 to US$45.70 per ADS and the closing sale price on April 11, 2018 was US$29.31 per ADS. The market price for our shares and ADSs may continue to be volatile and subject to wide fluctuations in response to factors, including the following:

 

    uncertainties or delays relating to the financing, completion and successful operation of our projects;

 

    developments in the Macau market, the Philippine market or other Asian gaming markets, including the announcement or completion of major new projects by our competitors;

 

    general economic, political or other factors that affect the region where our properties are located;

 

    regulatory developments affecting us or our competitors;

 

    actual or anticipated fluctuations in our quarterly operating results;

 

    announcements of new investments, acquisitions, strategic partnerships or joint ventures by us or our competitors;

 

    changes in financial estimates by securities research analysts;

 

    changes in the economic performance or market valuations of other gaming and leisure industry companies;

 

    changes in our market share of the Macau gaming market and/or the Philippine gaming market;

 

    detrimental adverse publicity about us, our properties or our industries;

 

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    addition or departure of our executive officers and key personnel;

 

    fluctuations in the exchange rates between the U.S. dollar, H.K. dollar, Pataca, Renminbi and Philippine peso;

 

    release or expiration of lock-up or other transfer restrictions on our outstanding shares or ADSs;

 

    sales or perceived sales of additional shares or ADSs or securities convertible or exchangeable or exercisable for shares or ADSs;

 

    potential litigation or regulatory investigations; and

 

    rumors related to any of the above, irrespective of their veracity.

In addition, the securities market has from time to time experienced significant price and volume fluctuations that are not related to the operating performance of particular companies. These market fluctuations may also have a material adverse effect on the market price of our ADSs.

In the past, shareholders of public companies have often brought securities class action suits against those companies following periods of instability in the market price of their securities. If we were involved in a class action suit, it could divert a significant amount of our management’s attention and other resources from our business and operations and require us to incur significant expenses to defend the suit, which could harm our results of operations. Any such class action suit, whether or not successful, could harm our reputation and restrict our ability to raise capital in the future. In addition, if a claim is successfully made against us, we may be required to pay significant damages, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

We cannot assure you that we will make dividend payments in the future.

On January 12, 2017, we announced a special dividend of approximately US$650 million. On February 8, 2018, we announced a quarterly dividend policy targeting to distribute quarterly cash dividends of US$0.045 per ordinary share of the Company (equivalent to US$0.135 per ADS), subject to our ability to pay dividends from our accumulated and future earnings, cash availability and future commitments. We cannot assure you that we will make any dividend payments on our shares in the future. Dividend payments will depend upon a number of factors, including our results of operations, earnings, capital requirements and surplus, general financial conditions, contractual restrictions and other factors considered relevant by our board.

Except as permitted under the Companies Law, as amended, of the Cayman Islands, or the Companies Law, and the common law of the Cayman Islands, we are not permitted to distribute dividends unless we have a profit, realized or unrealized, or a reserve set aside from profits which our directors determine is no longer needed. Our ability, or the ability of our subsidiaries, to pay dividends is further subject to restrictive covenants contained in the 2015 Credit Facilities, Studio City Notes, 2021 Studio City Senior Secured Credit Facility and other agreements governing indebtedness we and our subsidiaries may incur. Such restrictive covenants contained in the 2015 Credit Facilities include satisfaction of certain financial tests and conditions such as continued compliance with specified interest cover, cash cover and leverage ratios. The Studio City Notes and 2021 Studio City Senior Secured Credit Facility also contain certain covenants restricting payment of dividends by Studio City Finance (under the 2012 Studio City Notes) and Studio City Investments (under the 2016 Studio City Notes and 2021 Studio City Senior Secured Credit Facility) and their respective subsidiaries, respectively. For more details, see “Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects — B. Liquidity and Capital Resources — Indebtedness.”

Substantial sales or perceived sales of our shares or ADSs in the public market could cause the price of our ADSs and shares to decline.

Sales of our ADSs or shares in the public market, or the perception that these sales could occur, could cause the market price of our shares and ADSs to decline. There is no assurance that Melco International will not

 

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sell all or a part of its ownership interest in us. Any sale of their interest may be subject to volume and other restrictions, as applicable, under Rule 144 under the Securities Act of 1933, or the Securities Act. To the extent these or other shares are sold into the market, the market price of our shares and ADSs could decline. The ADSs represent interests in our shares. We would, subject to market forces, expect there to be a close correlation in the price of our ADSs and the price of the shares and any factors contributing to a decline in one market is likely to result to a similar decline in another.

In addition, Melco International has the right to cause us to register the sale of their shares under the Securities Act, subject to the terms of the registration rights agreement. Registration of these shares under the Securities Act would result in these shares becoming eligible for deposit in exchange for freely tradable ADSs without restriction under the Securities Act immediately upon the effectiveness of the registration statement. Sales of these registered shares in the public market could cause the price of our share and ADSs to decline.

Any decision by us to raise further equity in the markets in the U.S., which would result in dilution to existing shareholders, could cause the price of our ADSs and shares to decline.

Techniques employed by short sellers may drive down the market price of our ADSs.

Short selling is the practice of selling securities that the seller does not own but rather has borrowed from a third party with the intention of buying identical securities back at a later date to return to the lender. The short seller hopes to profit from a decline in the value of the securities between the sale of the borrowed securities and the purchase of the replacement shares, as the short seller expects to pay less in that purchase than it received in the sale. As it is in the short seller’s interest for the price of the security to decline, many short sellers publish, or arrange for the publication of, negative opinions regarding the relevant issuer and its business prospects in order to create negative market momentum and generate profits for themselves after selling a security short. These short attacks have, in the past, led to selling of shares in the market.

Public companies that have substantially all of their operations in Greater China have been the subject of short selling. Much of the scrutiny and negative publicity has centered on allegations of a lack of effective internal control over financial reporting resulting in financial and accounting irregularities and mistakes, inadequate corporate governance policies or a lack of adherence thereto and, in many cases, allegations of fraud. As a result, many of these companies are now conducting internal and external investigations into the allegations and, in the interim, are subject to shareholder lawsuits and/or SEC enforcement actions.

It is not clear what effect such negative publicity could have on us. If we were to become the subject of any unfavorable allegations, whether such allegations are proven to be true or untrue, we could have to expend a significant amount of resources to investigate such allegations and/or defend ourselves. While we would strongly defend against any such short seller attacks, we may be constrained in the manner in which we can proceed against the relevant short seller by principles of freedom of speech, applicable state law or issues of commercial confidentiality. Such a situation could be costly and time-consuming, and could distract our management from growing our business. Even if such allegations are ultimately proven to be groundless, allegations against us could severely impact our business operations, and any investment in our ADSs could be greatly reduced or even rendered worthless.

Holders of ADSs have fewer rights than shareholders and must act through the depositary to exercise those rights.

Holders of ADSs do not have the same rights of our shareholders and may only exercise the voting rights with respect to the underlying ordinary shares of the depositary and in accordance with the provisions of the deposit agreement. Advance notice of at least seven days is required for the convening of our annual general meeting and other shareholders meetings. When a general meeting is convened, you may not receive sufficient notice of a shareholders’ meeting to permit you to withdraw ordinary shares represented by your ADSs to allow

 

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you to cast your vote with respect to any specific matter. In addition, the depositary and its agents may not be able to send voting instructions to you or carry out your voting instructions in a timely manner. We will make all reasonable efforts to cause the depositary to extend voting rights to you in a timely manner, but we cannot assure you that you will receive the voting materials in time to ensure that you can instruct the depositary to vote your ADSs. The depositary and its agents will not be responsible for any failure to carry out any instructions to vote, for the manner in which any vote is cast or for the effect of any such vote. As a result, you may not be able to exercise your right to vote and you may lack recourse if your ADSs are not voted as you requested. In addition, in your capacity as an ADS holder, you will not be able to convene a shareholder meeting.

You may be subject to limitations on transfers of your ADSs.

Your ADSs are transferable on the books of the depositary. However, the depositary may close its transfer books at any time or from time to time when it deems expedient in connection with the performance of its duties. In addition, the depositary may refuse to deliver, transfer or register transfers of ADSs generally when our books or the books of the depositary are closed, or at any time if we deem or the depositary deems it advisable to do so because of any requirement of law or of any government or governmental body, or under any provision of the deposit agreement, or for any other reason.

Your right to participate in any future rights offerings may be limited, which may cause dilution to your holdings, and you may not receive cash dividends if it is unlawful or impractical to make them available to you.

We may, from time to time, distribute rights to our shareholders, including rights to acquire our securities. However, we cannot make rights available to you in the United States unless we register the rights and the securities to which the rights relate under the Securities Act or an exemption from the registration requirements is available. Also, under the deposit agreement, the depositary bank will not make rights available to you unless the distribution to ADS holders of both the rights and any related securities are either registered under the Securities Act, or exempted from registration under the Securities Act. We are under no obligation to file a registration statement with respect to any such rights or securities or to endeavor to cause such a registration statement to be declared effective. Moreover, we may not be able to establish an exemption from registration under the Securities Act. Accordingly, you may be unable to participate in our rights offerings and may experience dilution in your holdings.

In addition, the depositary of our ADSs has agreed to pay to you the cash dividends or other distributions it or the custodian receives on our ordinary shares or other deposited securities after deducting its fees and expenses. You will receive these distributions in proportion to the number of ordinary shares your ADSs represent. However, the depositary may, at its discretion, decide that it is unlawful, inequitable or impractical to make a distribution available to any holders of ADSs. For example, the depositary may determine that it is not practicable to distribute certain property through the mail, or that the value of certain distributions may be less than the cost of mailing them. In these cases, the depositary may decide not to distribute such property and you will not receive such distribution.

We are a Cayman Islands exempted company and, because judicial precedent regarding the rights of shareholders is more limited under Cayman Islands law than that under U.S. law, you may have less protection for your shareholder rights than you would under U.S. law.

We are an exempted company incorporated under the laws of the Cayman Islands. Our corporate affairs are governed by our memorandum and articles of association, the Companies Law of the Cayman Islands and the common law of the Cayman Islands. The rights of shareholders to take action against the directors, actions by minority shareholders and the fiduciary duties of our directors to us under Cayman Islands law are to a large extent governed by the common law of the Cayman Islands. The common law of the Cayman Islands is derived in part from comparatively limited judicial precedent in the Cayman Islands as well as from the common

 

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law of England, the decisions of whose courts are of persuasive authority, but are not binding, on a court in the Cayman Islands. The rights of our shareholders and the fiduciary duties of our directors under Cayman Islands law are not as clearly established as they would be under statutes or judicial precedent in some jurisdictions in the United States. In particular, the Cayman Islands has a less developed body of securities laws than the United States. Some U.S. states, such as Delaware, have more fully developed and judicially interpreted bodies of corporate law than the Cayman Islands. In addition, Cayman Islands companies may not have standing to initiate a shareholder derivative action in a federal court of the United States.

Shareholders of Cayman Islands exempted companies like us have no general rights under Cayman Islands law to inspect corporate records (other than the memorandum and articles of association) or to obtain copies of lists of shareholders of these companies. Our directors have discretion under our articles of association to determine whether or not, and under what conditions, our corporate records may be inspected by our shareholders, but are not obliged to make them available to our shareholders. This may make it more difficult for you to obtain the information needed to establish any facts necessary for a shareholder motion or to solicit proxies from other shareholders in connection with a proxy contest.

As a result of all of the above, our public shareholders may have more difficulty in protecting their interests in the face of actions taken by management, members of the board of directors or controlling shareholders than they would as shareholders of a U.S. public company.

You may have difficulty enforcing judgments obtained against us.

We are a Cayman Islands exempted company and substantially all of our assets are located outside of the United States. All of our current operations, and administrative and corporate functions are conducted in Macau, Hong Kong and the Philippines. In addition, substantially all of our directors and officers are nationals and residents of countries other than the United States. A substantial portion of the assets of these persons are located outside the United States. As a result, it may be difficult for you to effect service of process within the United States upon these persons. It may also be difficult for you to enforce in Cayman Islands, Macau, Hong Kong and Philippine courts judgments obtained in U.S. courts based on the civil liability provisions of the U.S. federal securities laws against us and our officers and directors, most of whom are not residents in the United States and the substantial majority of whose assets are located outside of the United States. In addition, there is uncertainty as to whether the courts of the Cayman Islands, Macau, Hong Kong or the Philippines would recognize or enforce judgments of U.S. courts against us or such persons predicated upon the civil liability provisions of the securities laws of the United States or any state. In addition, it is uncertain whether such Cayman Islands, Macau, Hong Kong or the Philippine courts would be competent to hear original actions brought in the Cayman Islands, Macau, Hong Kong or the Philippines against us or such persons predicated upon the securities laws of the United States or any state.

We may be classified as a passive foreign investment company for U.S. federal income tax purposes, which could result in adverse U.S. federal income tax consequences to U.S. Holders of our ADSs or ordinary shares.

Based on the current market price of our ADSs and ordinary shares, and the composition of our income, assets and operations, we do not believe we were a passive foreign investment company, or PFIC, for our taxable year ended December 31, 2017. However, the application of the PFIC rules is subject to uncertainty in several respects, and we cannot assure you that we will not be a PFIC for any taxable year. A non-U.S. corporation will be a PFIC for any taxable year if either (i) at least 75% of its gross income for such year is passive income or (ii) at least 50% of the value of its assets (based on a quarterly average) during such year is attributable to assets that produce passive income or are held for the production of passive income. A separate determination must be made after the close of each taxable year as to whether we were a PFIC for that year. Because the value of our assets for purposes of the PFIC test will generally be determined by reference to the market price of our ADSs and ordinary shares, a significant decrease in the market price of the ADSs and ordinary shares may cause us to become a PFIC. In addition, changes in the composition of our income or assets

 

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may cause us to become a PFIC. If we are a PFIC for any taxable year during which a U.S. Holder (as defined in “Item 10. Additional Information — E. Taxation — United States Federal Income Taxation”) holds an ADS or ordinary share, certain adverse U.S. federal income tax consequences could apply to such U.S. Holder. For example, such U.S. Holder may incur a significantly increased U.S. federal income tax liability on the receipt of certain distributions on our ADSs or ordinary shares or on any gain recognized from a sale or other disposition of our ADSs or ordinary shares, and will become subject to burdensome reporting requirements. See “Item 10. Additional Information — E. Taxation — United States Federal Income Taxation — Passive Foreign Investment Company.”

 

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ITEM 4. INFORMATION ON THE COMPANY

A. HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE COMPANY

Our Company was incorporated in December 2004 as an exempted company with limited liability under the laws of the Cayman Islands. Our subsidiary Melco Resorts Macau is one of six companies licensed, through concession or subconcession, to operate casinos in Macau. For more information on our corporate structure, see “— C. Organizational Structure.”

In December 2006, we completed the initial public offering of our ADSs, each of which represents three ordinary shares, and listed our ADSs on the Nasdaq under the symbol “MPEL.”

In May 2008, we changed our name from Melco PBL Entertainment (Macau) Limited to Melco Crown Entertainment Limited.

In January 2009, we were upgraded to trade on the Nasdaq Global Select Market.

On July 27, 2011, we acquired a 60% equity interest in SCI, the developer of Studio City. Studio City is a large-scale cinematically-themed integrated entertainment, retail and gaming resort developed in Macau.

On December 19, 2012, we completed the acquisition of a majority interest in the issued share capital of MRP, a company listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange. Following the completion of our acquisition of MRP, we transferred our 100% equity interest in Melco Resorts Leisure to MRP in March 2013. Melco Resorts Leisure has been granted the exclusive right to manage, operate and control our Philippines integrated casino resort project, City of Dreams Manila.

In May 2016, we repurchased 155 million ordinary shares from Crown Asia Investments. Following completion of the repurchase with cancelation of such shares and certain changes in the composition of our board of directors, Melco International became our single largest shareholder and we were treated as a subsidiary of Melco International.

In February 2017, the Melco Acquisition closed, upon which Melco International became our sole majority shareholder.

In March 2017, our name change from Melco Crown Entertainment Limited to Melco Resorts & Entertainment Limited became effective.

In April 2017, our Nasdaq ticker symbol changed from “MPEL” to “MLCO.”

In May 2017, we issued and sold 27,769,248 ADSs (equivalent to 83,307,744 ordinary shares) and 81,995,799 ordinary shares and also repurchased 165,303,544 ordinary shares from Crown Asia Investments for the aggregate purchase price of US$1.2 billion, and such repurchased shares were subsequently canceled by us.

For a description of our principal capital expenditures for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016, and 2015, see “Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects — B. Liquidity and Capital Resources.”

Our principal executive offices are located at 36th Floor, The Centrium, 60 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong. Our telephone number at this address is 852-2598-3600 and our fax number is 852-2537-3618. Our website is www.melco-resorts.com. The information contained on our website is not part of this annual report on Form 20-F.

 

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B. BUSINESS OVERVIEW

Overview

We are a developer, owner and operator of casino gaming and entertainment casino resort facilities in Asia. We currently have three major casino-based operations in Macau, namely, City of Dreams, Altira Macau and Studio City, and non-casino based operations in Macau at our Mocha Clubs. We also have a casino-based operation in the Philippines, City of Dreams Manila.

We are developing Morpheus, the third phase of City of Dreams in Cotai, Macau and are currently reviewing the development plan and schedule for the remaining land for Studio City. We plan to develop Morpheus into an iconic landmark and currently target its opening in the first half of 2018. With 1.0 million square feet of hotel space and 0.3 million square feet of podium space, Morpheus is expected to house approximately 770 rooms, suites and villas. For prevailing Macau market condition, see “Market and Competition.”

Our current and future operations are designed to cater to a broad spectrum of gaming patrons, from high-stakes rolling chip gaming patrons to gaming patrons seeking a broader entertainment experience. We currently own and operate three Forbes 5-Star hotels in Macau — Altira Macau, Nüwa and Studio City’s Star Tower — and received 11 Forbes 5-Star and four Forbes 4-Star ratings across our properties in 2018. We seek to attract patrons throughout Asia and, in particular, from Greater China.

In the Philippines, Melco Resorts Leisure, a subsidiary of MRP, currently operates and manages City of Dreams Manila, a casino, hotel, retail and entertainment integrated resort in the Entertainment City complex in Manila.

In 2018, we received the “Gaming Operator of the Year, Australia & Asia” award at the International Gaming Awards.

We generated a significant majority of the total revenues for each of the years ended December 31, 2015, 2016 and 2017 from our operations in Macau, the principal market in which we compete. For further information on the Macau gaming market, see “— Market and Competition — Macau Gaming Market.”

Our Major Existing Operations

City of Dreams

City of Dreams is an integrated casino resort in Cotai, Macau, which opened in June 2009. City of Dreams is a premium-focused property, targeting high-end customers and rolling chip players from regional markets across Asia. As of December 31, 2017, City of Dreams operated approximately 475 gaming tables and approximately 670 gaming machines.

The resort brings together a collection of brands to create an experience that appeals to a broad spectrum of visitors from around Asia. Nüwa and The Countdown each offers approximately 300 guest rooms and the Grand Hyatt Macau hotel offers approximately 800 guest rooms. Upon completion, Morpheus is expected to offer approximately 770 rooms, suites and villas. In addition, City of Dreams includes approximately 25 restaurants and bars, approximately 95 retail outlets, recreation and leisure facilities, including health and fitness clubs, three swimming pools, spas and salons and banquet and meeting facilities. The Club Cubic nightclub offers approximately 2,395 square meters (equivalent to approximately 25,780 square feet) of live entertainment space. SOHO, a lifestyle entertainment and dining precinct located on the second floor of City of Dreams, offers customers a wide selection of food and beverage and other non-gaming offerings. Completion of Morpheus will provide an additional pool, spa and salon, fitness club, executive lounge and four restaurants.

 

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Due to its outstanding customer service and diverse range of unique world-class entertainment experiences, City of Dreams has garnered numerous awards in the prestigious International Gaming Awards over the years. City of Dreams was honored “Casino VIP Room of the Year” in 2014, “Integrated Resort of the Year” in 2013, “Customer Experience of the Year” in 2012 and “Casino VIP Room” and “Casino Interior Design” awards in 2011. It has also received the “Best Leisure Development in Asia Pacific” award in the International Property Awards in 2010, which recognizes distinctive innovation and outstanding success in leisure development. City of Dreams’ Nüwa (then branded as Crown Towers) was the first hotel brand in Macau to receive the Forbes Travel Guide 5-Star distinction for its hotel, spa and every restaurant in January 2014. It was recognized as a Forbes 5-Star hotel for the sixth consecutive year in 2018, and its spa, the contemporary French restaurant The Tasting Room, the Cantonese culinary masterpiece Jade Dragon and the premium Japanese fine-dining establishment Shinji by Kanesaka were all awarded Forbes 5-Star ratings. In addition, Jade Dragon and The Tasting Room once again garnered Michelin two-star ratings in the Michelin Guide Hong Kong Macau 2018 while Shinji by Kanesaka maintained the one-star Michelin rating it was awarded in 2016. Jade Dragon was included in the 2018 list of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, a gastronomic guide judged by Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy, for the second consecutive year, being the only Macau restaurant to be featured. Moreover, Jade Dragon and The Tasting Room have been included in the list of top 20 Best Restaurants by Hong Kong Tatler for five consecutive years since 2014, while Shinji by Kanesaka was also included in the list in 2017 and 2018.

The Dancing Water Theater, a wet stage performance theater with approximately 2,000 seats, features the internationally acclaimed and award winning water-based extravaganza, The House of Dancing Water. The House of Dancing Water is the live entertainment centerpiece of the overall leisure and entertainment offering at City of Dreams and highlights City of Dreams as an innovative entertainment-focused destination, strengthening the overall diversity of Macau as a multi-day stay market and one of Asia’s premier leisure and entertainment destinations. The House of Dancing Water incorporates costumes, sets and audio-visual special effects and showcases an international cast of performance artists. The HK$2.0 billion world-class production was awarded the Excellence Award of the “Most Valuable Brand Award” by Business Awards of Macau in 2015. The show also garnered the “Culture, Entertainment & Sporting Events Award” in the Effie China Awards in 2012 and the prestigious “International THEA Award for Outstanding Achievement” from the Themed Entertainment Association and was named the “Best Entertainment of Macau” in the 2011 Hurun Report.

Altira Macau

Altira Macau is designed to provide a casino and hotel experience that caters to Asian rolling chip customers and players sourced primarily through gaming promoters.

As of December 31, 2017, Altira Macau operated approximately 100 gaming tables and 119 gaming machines operated as a Mocha Club at Altira Macau. Altira Macau’s multi-floor layout comprises primarily designated gaming areas and private gaming rooms for rolling chip players, together with a general gaming area for the mass market that offers various table limits to cater to a wide range of mass market patrons. Our multi-floor layout allows us the flexibility to reconfigure Altira Macau’s gaming areas to meet the changing demands of our patrons and target specific customer segments.

We consider Altira hotel, located within the 38-story Altira Macau, to be one of the leading hotels in Macau as evidenced by its long-standing Forbes 5-Star recognition. The top floor of the Altira hotel serves as the hotel lobby and reception area, providing guests with views of the surrounding area. The Altira hotel comprises approximately 215 guest rooms, including suites and villas. A number of restaurants and dining facilities are available at Altira Macau, including a leading Italian restaurant Aurora, several Chinese and international restaurants and several bars. Altira hotel also offers several non-gaming amenities, including a spa, gymnasium, outdoor garden podium and sky terrace lounge.

Altira Macau offers a luxurious hotel experience with its internationally acclaimed accommodation and guest services. It has been awarded Forbes 5-Star ratings in lodging and spa categories by Forbes Travel Guide

 

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for nine consecutive years in 2018. Altira Macau also received the “Most Favorite Travel Resort & Hotel” of U Magazine in 2015 and was honored the “Best Luxury Fitness Spa Award” in the prestigious World Luxury Spa Awards in 2014. Altira Macau’s swimming pool was named by US Forbes Traveler as one of the ten best hotel pools in the world and one of eight outstanding indoor hotel pools by CNN.com.

Altira Macau houses several award-winning restaurants. Its Italian restaurant Aurora and its Japanese restaurant Tenmasa have both earned Forbes 5-Star recognition in the Forbes Travel Guide for the fifth and fourth consecutive year, respectively, in 2018. Its Cantonese restaurant, Ying, was awarded a Forbes 4-Star rating for the fourth consecutive year in 2018 and a Michelin star in the Michelin Guide Hong Kong Macau 2018 for the second consecutive year. In addition, Aurora, Tenmasa and Ying were winners of the “Best of Award Excellence of Wine Spectator” in 2015. All three restaurants together with Kira were also included in the list of Hong Kong Tatler’s Best Restaurants guide for three consecutive years from 2015 to 2017.

In recognition of their outstanding service and service management, Ying and Tenmasa also respectively received the Service Star Award in the “Deluxe Restaurant” and “First Class Restaurant” categories in the “Quality Tourism Services Accreditation Scheme 2017” organized by the Macau Government Tourism Office.

Studio City

Studio City is a large-scale cinematically-themed integrated entertainment, retail and gaming resort which opened in October 2015. As of December 31, 2017, Studio City operated approximately 290 gaming tables and 970 gaming machines. The gaming operations of Studio City are focused on the mass market and target all ranges of mass market patrons. While Studio City focuses on the mass market segment for gaming, VIP rolling chip operations, including both junket and premium direct VIP offerings, were introduced at Studio City in early November 2016 and a VIP rolling chip area has been built at Studio City with 45 VIP tables as of December 31, 2017. Studio City will assess and evaluate its focus on different market segments from time to time and will adjust its operations as appropriate. Studio City also includes luxury hotel offerings and various entertainment, retail and food and beverage outlets to attract a diverse range of customers. Designed to focus on the mass market segment, Studio City offers cinematically-themed, unique and innovative interactive attractions, including the world’s first figure-8 and Asia’s highest Ferris wheel, a Warner Bros.-themed family entertainment center, a Batman film franchise digital ride, a 5,000 seat multi-purpose live performance arena and a Pacha nightclub, as well as approximately 1,600 hotel rooms, various food and beverage outlets and approximately 35,000 square meters (equivalent to approximately 377,000 square feet) of themed and innovative retail space.

In recognition of Studio City’s facilities, games, customer service, atmosphere, style and design, Studio City was awarded the International Five Star Standard, Best Large Hotel Macau, Best City Hotel Macau, Best Resort Hotel Macau and Best Convention Hotel Macau in the International Hotel Awards 2017-18. In addition, Studio City was the Global Winner in the “Luxury Casino Hotel” category and the Regional Winner (East Asia) in the “Luxury Family Hotel” category of the 2017 World Luxury Hotel Awards. The Studio City property was also awarded the “Casino/Integrated Resort of the Year” in the International Gaming Awards in 2016 and honored as “Asia’s Leading New Resort” in World Travel Awards in 2016. Moreover, Studio City’s Star Tower received the Forbes 5-Star rating from Forbes Travel Guide in 2018, while its Zensa Spa was awarded a Forbes 4-Star rating. Studio City’s signature Cantonese restaurant, Pearl Dragon, celebrated its one-Michelin-starred establishment rank for the second consecutive year in the Michelin Guide Hong Kong Macau 2018, and achieved a Forbes 4-Star rating in 2018. In addition, Pearl Dragon and Bi Ying were included in the list of Hong Kong Tatler’s Best Restaurants guide in 2017.

Studio City is located in Cotai, Macau. In addition to its diverse range of gaming and non-gaming offerings, Studio City’s location in the fast growing Cotai region of Macau, directly adjacent to the Lotus Bridge immigration checkpoint (“Where Cotai Begins” which connects China to Macau) and a proposed light rail station, is a major competitive advantage, particularly as it relates to the mass market segment.

 

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We are currently reviewing the development plan and schedule for the remaining land for Studio City.

Our subsidiary Melco Resorts Macau operates the gaming areas of Studio City pursuant to a services agreement it entered into in May 2007, as amended in June 2012, with Studio City Entertainment Limited, together with other agreements or arrangements entered into between the parties from time to time, which may amend, supplement or relate to the aforementioned agreement. Melco Resorts Macau is reimbursed for the costs incurred in connection with its operation of Studio City’s gaming areas.

Mocha Clubs

Mocha Clubs comprise the largest non-casino based operations of electronic gaming machines in Macau. As of December 31, 2017, Mocha Clubs had eight clubs with a total of 1,319 gaming machines in operation (including 119 gaming machines at Altira Macau), which represented 8.4% of the total machine installation in the market, according to the DICJ. Mocha Clubs focus on general mass market players, including day-trip customers, outside the conventional casino setting. We operate Mocha Clubs at leased or sub-leased premises or under right-to-use agreements.

The Mocha Club gaming facilities include what we believe is the latest technology for gaming machines and offer both electronic gaming machines, including stand-alone machines, stand-alone progressive jackpot machines and linked progressive jackpot machines with a variety of games, and electronic table games which feature fully-automated multi-player machines with roulette, baccarat and sic-bo, a traditional Chinese dice game.

City of Dreams Manila

City of Dreams Manila is one of the leading integrated tourism resorts in the Philippines. The property is located on an approximately 6.2-hectare site at the gateway of Entertainment City, Manila, close to Metro Manila’s international airport and central business district. City of Dreams Manila opened in December 2014 and represents our first entry into an entertainment and gaming market outside of Macau and an incremental source of earnings and cash flow outside of Macau.

The property’s total gross floor area is approximately 300,100 square meters (equivalent to approximately 3.2 million square feet). We are authorized by PAGCOR to operate up to approximately 1,700 slot machines, 1,700 electronic gaming tables and 380 gaming tables. As of December 31, 2017, we operated approximately 1,635 slot machines, 172 electronic gaming tables and 293 gaming tables.

City of Dreams Manila has three hotels comprising Nüwa, Nobu Hotel and Hyatt City of Dreams Manila, with approximately 950 rooms in aggregate. City of Dreams Manila also has exciting entertainment venues: DreamPlay by DreamWorks, a family entertainment center, which officially opened in June 2015; CenterPlay, a live performance central lounge within the casino; and the nightclubs Chaos and Pangaea Manila, a night club that has active gaming tables, both encapsulated within the Fortune Egg. City of Dreams Manila also has a retail boulevard, The Shops at the Boulevard, which is a retail strip interspersed within the food and beverage areas to provide customers with a broad range of shopping opportunities.

City of Dreams Manila is committed to providing the best in class luxury experiences in hospitality, dining and entertainment. With its exceptional facilities and services, the integrated resort’s recognitions in 2017 include “Best Performing Casino Stock in the World” on Bloomberg.com and “23 Fanciest Casinos in the World” on townandcountry.com. The luxury resort also received from Meralco the “Corporate Commercial Luminary Award” in recognition of the resort’s contribution to nation-building through creation of jobs and promotion of Philippine tourism and, from Mega magazine, the “2017 Exemplary World-Class Integrated Resort Award.” The local government of Parañaque City also presented an Award of Distinction to City of Dreams Manila in 2016 as a model Paranaque establishment. City of Dreams Manila’s hotels ranked in the “Top 25 Luxury Hotels” in the Philippines in the 2016 Traveler’s Choice by TripAdvisor. In 2015, the integrated resort was named “Casino/Integrated Resort of the Year” at the International Gaming Awards.

 

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With more than 20 dining outlets located on property, signature restaurants Nobu Manila and Crystal Dragon were included in the 2017 Philippine Tatler’s Best Restaurant Guide and Town and Country’s Fabulous Dine Around Best Restaurants, while Nobu Manila has also been recognized as “One of the 7 Premier Restaurants Putting Manila in the World’s Gastronomic Map” in the online edition of Conde Nast Traveler. The Tasting Room, Crystal Dragon and Nobu Manila were recognized as among the Top 20 restaurants in the Philippines in the Philippine Tatler Best Restaurants Guide 2016 while Red Ginger, The Café at Hyatt and Apu, were also listed among the 170 establishments in the country.

In 2018, Nüwa earned the only new Forbes 5-Star in Manila from the Forbes Travel Guide. Nüwa Spa at City of Dreams Manila was also awarded a Forbes 4-Star rating. In 2016, it was awarded the International Hotel and Property Award for Best Lobby/Public Area/Lounge in the Global category and Best Hotel over 200 Rooms in Asia Pacific by Design Et Al, an international design magazine in Italy. The resort’s three luxury hotel brands, Nüwa, Hyatt City of Dreams Manila and Nobu Hotel, were recognized with a “2017 Certificate of Excellence” and in the previous year, “Top 25 Luxury Hotels in the Philippines Travelers Choice Awards” by TripAdvisor. In addition, Hyatt City of Dreams Manila was recognized as among the Top Five Best Hotels in Manila in the Readers’ Choice Awards 2016 by regional travel magazine DestinAsian. Nobu Hotel was likewise featured in the Forbes Travel Guide online article on “Five Celebrity-owned Hotels that Make You Feel Like the Star.”

Melco Resorts Leisure operates the casino business of City of Dreams Manila in accordance with the terms of the Regular License and the operating agreement between Melco Resorts Leisure and the Philippine Parties dated March 13, 2013. Under the operating agreement, PremiumLeisure and Amusement, Inc. (a member of the Philippine Parties) has the right to receive monthly payments from Melco Resorts Leisure, based on the performance of gaming operations of City of Dreams Manila, and Melco Resorts Leisure has the right to retain all revenues from non-gaming operations of City of Dreams Manila.

Having met the minimum investment levels and other requirements under our Provisional License, the Regular License dated April 29, 2015 was issued by PAGCOR to the Philippine Licensees. The Regular License has the same terms and conditions as the Provisional License and is valid until July 11, 2033.

For a breakdown of total revenues by category of activity and geographic market for each of the last three financial years, see “Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects — A. Operating Results.”

Our Development Projects

We are developing Morpheus, the third phase of City of Dreams in Cotai. Morpheus is expected to commence operations in the first half of 2018 with approximately 770 guest rooms. We are also currently reviewing the development plan and schedule for the remaining project of Studio City, which will require additional, and possibly substantial, funding. Such development for the remaining project of Studio City may be funded through various sources, including cash on hand, operating free cash flow as well as debt and/or equity financing, including an initial public offering. On August 14, 2017, SCI announced it submitted on a confidential basis to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission a draft registration statement for a possible initial public offering of American depositary shares representing ordinary shares of SCI. Further, we continually seek new opportunities for additional gaming or related businesses in Macau and in other countries and will continue to target the development of a project pipeline in order to expand our footprint in countries which offer legalized casino gaming, including Japan where we have a strong interest in developing integrated resorts. In defining and setting the timing, form and structure for any future development, we focus on evaluating alternative available financing, market conditions and market demand. In order to pursue these opportunities and such development, we have incurred and will continue to incur capital expenditures at our properties and for our projects.

Our Land and Premises

We operate our gaming business at our operating properties in Macau in accordance with the terms and conditions of our gaming subconcession. In addition, our existing operating properties and development projects

 

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in Macau are subject to the terms and conditions of land concession contracts. See “— Regulations — Macau Regulations — Land Regulations.” Through MRP, we also operate our gaming business in the Philippines through the Regular License issued by PAGCOR on a property which Melco Resorts Leisure leases from Belle Corporation under the Lease Agreement.

City of Dreams

City of Dreams is located in Cotai, Macau with a land area of 113,325 square meters (equivalent to approximately 1.2 million square feet). In August 2008, the Macau government granted the land on which City of Dreams is located to COD Resorts and Melco Resorts Macau for a period of 25 years, renewable for further consecutive periods of ten years, subject to applicable legislation in Macau. The land grant was amended in September 2010 and January 2014, respectively. Under the terms of the revised land concession, the development period was extended to January 28, 2018, the hotel to be developed was changed to a five-star hotel and the total developable gross floor area on the land was increased to 692,619 square meters (equivalent to approximately 7.5 million square feet). Total land premium required for the land is in the amount of approximately MOP1,286.6 million (equivalent to approximately US$160.5 million), which was paid in full in January 2016. In January 2018, the Macau government approved the extension of the development period to June 11, 2018.

Under the current terms of the land concession, the annual government land use fees payable during the development are approximately MOP9.5 million (equivalent to approximately US$1.2 million) and the annual government land use fees payable after completion of development are approximately MOP9.9 million (equivalent to approximately US$1.2 million). The government land use fee amounts may be adjusted every five years as agreed.

See note 21 to the consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this annual report for information about our future commitments as to government land use fees for City of Dreams.

The equipment utilized by City of Dreams in the casino and hotel is owned by us and held for use for City of Dreams, including the main gaming equipment and software to support its table games and gaming machine operations, cage equipment, security and surveillance equipment, casino and hotel furniture, fittings and equipment.

Altira Macau

Altira Macau is located in Taipa, Macau with a land area of approximately 5,230 square meters (equivalent to approximately 56,295 square feet) under a 25-year land lease agreement with the Macau government that is renewable for further consecutive periods of ten years, subject to applicable legislation in Macau. In March 2006, the Macau government granted the land on which Altira Macau is located to Altira Resorts. The land grant was amended in December 2013. The total gross floor area of Altira Macau is approximately 104,000 square meters (equivalent to approximately 1,119,000 square feet). Total land premium required is in the amount of MOP169.3 million (equivalent to approximately US$21.1 million) which was paid in full in 2013. According to the current terms of the land concession, the annual government land use fees payable are approximately MOP1.5 million (equivalent to approximately US$186,000). This amount may be adjusted every five years as agreed.

See note 21 to the consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this annual report for information about our future commitments as to government land use fees for Altira Macau.

The equipment utilized by Altira Macau in the casino and hotel is owned by us and held for use for Altira Macau, including the main gaming equipment and software, to support its table games and gaming machine operations, cage equipment, security and surveillance equipment and casino, hotel furniture, fittings and equipment.

 

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Mocha Clubs

Mocha Clubs operate at premises with a total floor area of approximately 131,700 square feet at the following locations in Macau:

 

Mocha Club

  

Opening Month

  

Location

   Total Floor Area  
               (In square feet)  

Royal

   September 2003    G/F and 1/F of Hotel Royal      19,000  

Taipa Square

   January 2005    G/F, 1/F and 2/F of Hotel Taipa Square      26,500  

Sintra

   November 2005    G/F and 1/F of Hotel Sintra      11,000  

Macau Tower

   September 2011    LG/F and G/F of Macau Tower      19,600  

Golden Dragon

   January 2012    G/F, 1/F, 2/F and 3/F of Hotel Golden Dragon      20,500  

Inner Harbor

   December 2013    No 286-312 Seaside New Street      12,800  

Kuong Fat

   June 2014    Macau, Rua de Pequim No. 174., Centro Comercial Kuong Fat Cave A      13,800  

Mocha Altira

   November 2017    Avenida De Kwong Tung, No. 786, 798, 816 e 840, Taipa, Macau      8,500  
        

 

 

 

Total

           131,700  
        

 

 

 

Premises are being operated under leases, subleases or right to use agreements that expire at various dates through June 2022, which are renewable upon reaching an agreement with the owners.

In addition to leasehold improvements to Mocha Club premises, the onsite equipment utilized at the Mocha Clubs is owned and held for use to support the gaming machine operations.

Studio City

Studio City is located in Cotai, Macau and has a land area of 130,789 square meters (equivalent to approximately 1.4 million square feet) held under a 25-year land lease agreement with the Macau government that is renewable for further consecutive periods of ten years, subject to applicable legislation in Macau. In October 2001, the Macau government granted the land on which Studio City is located to Studio City Developments. The Studio City land concession contract was amended in July 2012 and September 2015 to permit Studio City Developments to build a complex comprising a four-star hotel, a facility for cinematographic industry, including supporting facilities for entertainment and tourism, parking and free area.

The gross construction area of the Studio City site is approximately 707,078 square meters (equivalent to approximately 7.6 million square feet). The gross construction area completed for the first phase is approximately 477,110 square meters (equivalent to approximately 5.1 million square feet). The land premium of approximately MOP1,402.0 million (equivalent to approximately US$175.0 million) was paid in full in January 2015. In February 2018, the development period under the Studio City land concession contract was extended to July 24, 2021. Government land use fee of approximately MOP3.9 million (equivalent to approximately US$490,000) per annum are payable during the development stage. The annual government land use fees payable after completion of development will be MOP9.1 million (equivalent to approximately US$1.1 million). The amounts may be adjusted every five years as agreed.

As part of the security provided in relation to the 2016 Studio City Notes and the 2021 Studio City Senior Secured Credit Facility, we assigned certain leases and right to use agreements and granted a mortgage over our rights under the Studio City land concession.

See note 21 to the consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this annual report for information about our future commitments as to government land use fees for Studio City.

 

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City of Dreams Manila

City of Dreams Manila site is located on a reclaimed land (“Project Reclaimed Land”). The Project Reclaimed Land was originally acquired by an entity known as R 1 Consortium from the Philippine Public Estates Authority (“PEA”). This acquisition occurred in 1995 as part of the R 1 Consortium’s compensation for the construction of PEA’s Manila-Cavite Coastal Road project. R 1 Consortium conveyed all its interest to the Project Reclaimed Land in favor of two entities in 1995. These two entities later merged with Belle Bay City Corporation (“Belle Bay”), which is 34.9% owned by Belle Corporation, being one of the Philippine Parties, with Belle Bay becoming the surviving entity and owner of the Project Reclaimed Land. Belle Bay was dissolved in 2005 and is still undergoing liquidation. The Project Reclaimed Land was allocated to Belle Corporation as part of Belle Bay’s plan of dissolution. Belle Corporation has exercised possession and other rights over the Project Reclaimed Land since this allocation. In 2005, Belle Corporation transferred a portion of the Project Reclaimed Land to the Philippine Social Security System. In 2010, Belle Corporation and the Philippine Social Security System entered into a lease agreement for that portion.

Melco Resorts Leisure does not own the land or the buildings comprising the site for City of Dreams Manila. Rather, Melco Resorts Leisure leases the Project Reclaimed Land and buildings from Belle Corporation under the Lease Agreement. Part of the land covered under the Lease Agreement is leased by Belle Corporation from the Philippine Social Security System under the lease agreement between Belle Corporation and the Social Security System in 2010.

Other Premises

Taipa Square Casino premises, including the fit-out and gaming-related equipment, are located on the ground floor and level one within Hotel Taipa Square in Macau and occupying a floor area of approximately 1,760 square meters (equivalent to approximately 18,950 square feet). We operate Taipa Square Casino under a right-to-use agreement.

Apart from the aforesaid property sites, we maintain various offices and storage locations in Macau, Hong Kong and the Philippines. We lease all of our office and storage premises.

Advertising and Marketing

We seek to attract customers to our properties and to grow our customer base over time by undertaking several types of advertising, sales and marketing activities and plans. We utilize local and regional media to publicize our projects and operations. We have built a public relations and advertising team that cultivates media relationships, promotes our brands and explores media opportunities in various markets. Advertising uses a variety of media platforms that include digital, print, television, online, outdoor, on property (as permitted by Macau, PRC and other regional laws), collateral and direct mail pieces. A sales team has been established that directly liaises with current and potential customers within target Asian countries in order to grow and retain high-end customers. In order to be competitive in the Macau gaming environment, we hold various promotions and special events, operate loyalty programs with our patrons and have developed a series of commission and other incentive-based programs. In Macau and the Philippines, we employ a tiered loyalty program at our properties to ensure that each customer segment is specifically recognized and incentivized in accordance with their expected revenue contribution. Dedicated customer hosting programs provide personalized service to our most valuable customers. In addition, we utilize sophisticated analytical programs and capabilities to track the behavior and spending patterns of our patrons. We believe these tools help deepen our understanding of our customers to optimize yield and make continued improvements to our properties. As our advertising, sales and marketing activities occur in various jurisdictions, we aim to ensure we are in compliance with all applicable laws in relation to our advertising and marketing activities.

 

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Customers

We seek to cater to a broad range of customers through our diverse gaming and non-gaming facilities and amenities across our major existing operating properties.

Non-Gaming Patrons

In addition to its mass market and rolling chip gaming offerings, City of Dreams offers visitors to Macau an array of multi-dimensional entertainment amenities, three hotels, as well as a selection of restaurants, bars and retail outlets. Upon the opening of Morpheus, the number of hotels will increase to four at City of Dreams. Altira Macau is designed to provide a high-end casino and hotel experience, tailored to meet the cultural preferences and expectations of Asian rolling chip patrons. Mocha Clubs are targeted to deliver a relaxed, café-style non-casino based electronic gaming experience. Studio City is designated to primarily target mass market guests through its vast array of non-gaming amenities and entertainment attractions.

City of Dreams Manila offers three separate entertainment venues, supported by a diverse food and beverage zone designed to be a socializing hub where guests can relax and be entertained. The entertainment offerings, designed to cater to all key demographic groups, include the Fortune Egg, a central dome-like structure for housing two dynamic night clubs, a casino performance lounge and a thematic family entertainment center. With these diverse entertainment venues and attractions, we believe that City of Dreams Manila will be able to leverage the experience of City of Dreams in Macau, which has developed world-class attractions such as The House of Dancing Water and the Club Cubic nightclub.

Gaming Patrons

Our gaming patrons include rolling chip players and mass market players.

Mass market players are non-rolling chip players and they come to our properties for a variety of reasons, including our direct marketing efforts, brand recognition, the quality and comfort of our mass market gaming floors and our non-gaming offerings. Mass market players are further classified as general mass market and premium mass market players.

Rolling chip players at our casinos are patrons who participate in our in-house rolling chip programs or in the rolling chip programs of our gaming promoters, also known as junket operators. Our rolling chip players play mostly in our dedicated VIP rooms or designated gaming areas.

Our in-house rolling chip programs consist of rolling chip players sourced through our direct marketing efforts and relationships, whom we refer to as premium direct players. Premium direct players can earn a variety of gaming-related rebates, such as cash, rooms, food and beverage and other complimentary products or services.

Gaming Promoters

A portion of our rolling chip play is brought to us by gaming promoters, also known as junket operators. While rolling chip players sourced by gaming promoters do not earn direct gaming-related rebates from us, we pay a commission and provide other complimentary services to the gaming promoter.

In both Macau and Manila, we engage gaming promoters to promote our VIP gaming rooms primarily due to the gaming promoters’ knowledge of and experience within the regional gaming market, in particular with sourcing and attracting rolling chip patrons and arranging for their transportation and accommodation, and gaming promoters’ extensive rolling chip patron network. Under standard arrangements utilized in Macau and Manila, we provide gaming promoters with exclusive or casual access to one or more of our VIP gaming rooms and support from our staff while gaming promoters source rolling chip patrons for our casinos or gaming areas to

 

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generate an expected minimum amount of rolling chip volume per month. Gaming promoters in Macau are independent third parties that include both individuals and corporate entities and are officially licensed by the DICJ. We have procedures to screen prospective gaming promoters prior to their engagement and conduct periodic checks that are designed to ensure that the gaming promoters with whom we associate meet suitability standards. We believe that we have strong relationships with some of the top gaming promoters in Macau and have a solid network of gaming promoters who help us market our properties and source and assist in managing rolling chip patrons at our properties. As of December 31, 2015, 2016 and 2017, we had agreements in place with 80, 61 and 55 gaming promoters in Macau, respectively. For City of Dreams Manila, we leverage our extensive sales reach within Asia to the extent permissible by applicable law, particularly to the sizable international customer base largely developed through our Macau operations and our strong relationship with gaming promoters in Macau and the rest of Asia. Melco Resorts Leisure works with Melco Resorts Macau to develop cross promotional marketing campaigns that position the Philippines as an additional gaming and tourist destination to guests at our properties and our gaming promoter networks. As of December 31, 2017, we had agreements in place with 20 gaming promoters in the Philippines. We expect to continue to evaluate and selectively add or remove gaming promoters going forward.

In Macau, we typically enter into gaming promoter agreements for a one-year term that are automatically renewed for periods of up to one year unless otherwise terminated. The gaming promoter agreements may be terminated (i) by either party without cause upon 15 days advance written notice, (ii) upon advice from the DICJ or any other gaming regulator to cease having dealings with the gaming promoter or if the DICJ cancels or fails to renew the gaming promoter’s license, (iii) if the gaming promoter fails to meet the minimum rolling chip volume it agreed to with us, (iv) if the gaming promoter enters or is placed in receivership or provisional liquidation or liquidation, an application is made for the winding up of the gaming promoter, the gaming promoter becomes insolvent or makes an assignment for the benefit of its creditors or an encumbrancer takes possession of any of the gaming promoter’s assets or (v) if any party to the agreement is in material breach of any of the terms of the agreement and fails to remedy such breach within the timeframe outlined in the agreement. Our gaming promoters are compensated through commission arrangements that are calculated on a monthly or a per trip basis. We generally offer commission payment structures that are calculated by reference to revenue share or monthly rolling chip volume. Under the revenue share-based arrangements, the gaming promoter participates in our gaming wins or losses from the rolling chip patrons brought in by the gaming promoter. To encourage gaming promoters to use our VIP gaming rooms for rolling chip patrons, our gaming promoters may receive complimentary allowances for food and beverage, hotel accommodation and transportation. Under the Administrative Regulation 27/2009 governing gaming promotion activity as promulgated by the Macau government, these allowances must be included in the 1.25% regulatory cap on gaming promoter commissions on rolling chip volume-based arrangements.

We conduct, and expect to continue to conduct, our table gaming activities at our casinos on a credit basis as well as a cash basis. As a customary practice in both Macau and Manila gaming markets, we grant credit to our gaming promoters and certain of our premium direct players. The gaming promoters bear the responsibility for issuing to, and subsequently collecting credit, from their players.

We extend interest-free credit to a significant portion of our gaming promoters for short-term, renewable periods under credit agreements that are separate from the gaming promoter agreements. Credit is also granted to certain gaming promoters on a revolving basis. All gaming promoter credit lines are generally subject to monthly review and various settlement procedures, including our credit committee review and other checks performed by our cage, count and credit department, to evaluate the liquidity and financial health of gaming promoters to whom we grant such credit. These procedures allow us to calculate the commissions payable to a gaming promoter and to determine the amount which can be offset, together with any other values held by us from the gaming promoter, against the outstanding credit balances owed by a gaming promoter. Credit is granted to a gaming promoter based on the performance and financial background of the gaming promoter and, if applicable, the gaming promoter’s guarantor. If we determine that a gaming promoter has good credit history and a track record of large business volumes, we may extend credit exceeding one month of commissions payable.

 

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This credit is typically unsecured. Although the amount of such credit may exceed the amount of accrued commissions payable to, and any other amounts of value held by us from, the gaming promoters, we generally obtain personal checks and/or promissory notes from guarantors or other forms of collateral. We have in place internal controls and credit policies and procedures to manage this credit risk.

We aim to pursue overdue debt from gaming promoters and premium direct players. This collection activity includes, as applicable, frequent personal contact with the debtor, notices of delinquency and litigation. However, we may not be able to collect all of our gaming receivables from our credit customers and gaming promoters. See “Item 3. Key Information — D. Risk Factors — Risks Relating to Our Business and Operations — We extend credit to a portion of our customers, and we may not be able to collect gaming receivables from our credit customers.”

Our allowance for doubtful accounts may fluctuate significantly from period to period as a result of having significant individual customer account balances where changes in their status of collectability cause significant changes in our allowance. For information regarding allowances for doubtful accounts, see “Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects — A. Operating Results — Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates — Accounts Receivable and Credit Risk.”

Market and Competition

We believe that the gaming markets in Macau and the Philippines are and will continue to be intensely competitive. Our competitors in Macau and elsewhere in Asia include all the current concession and subconcession holders, other PAGCOR license holders and many of the largest gaming, hospitality, leisure and property development companies in the world. Some of these current and future competitors are larger than us and have significantly longer track records of operation of major hotel casino resort properties.

Macau Gaming Market

In 2017, 2016 and 2015, Macau generated approximately US$33.2 billion, US$27.9 billion and US$28.8 billion of gaming revenue, respectively, according to the DICJ. Macau is currently the only market in Greater China, and one of only several in Asia, to offer legalized casino gaming.

Gross gaming revenues in Macau expanded 13.5% in 2012 and 18.6% in 2013, according to the DICJ. The DICJ figures show that the Macau gaming market has been through a challenging period since 2014, with a decline in gross gaming revenues of 2.6% in 2014 and 34.3% in 2015 and 3.3% in 2016, primarily driven by a deteriorating demand environment from our key feeder market, China, as well as other restrictive policies including changes to travel and visa policies and the implementation of further smoking restrictions on the main gaming floor. According to the DICJ, the rolling chip segment underperformed the broader market, declining 10.9% year-over-year in 2014 and 39.9% year-over-year in 2015 and 6.9% in 2016, while the higher margin mass market table games segment increased 15.5% in 2014 and declined 26.7% in 2015 and increased 9.4% in 2016. The operating environment improved in 2017, with gross gaming revenues in Macau increasing 19.1% on a year-on-year basis according to the DICJ and has continued to improve in the first quarter of 2018 with gross gaming revenues in Macau increasing 20.5% on a year-on-year basis according to the DICJ.

The mass market table games segment accounted for 38.3% of market-wide gross gaming revenues in 2017, compared to 41.6% in 2016 and 39.5% in 2015, according to the DICJ. With our large exposure to the mass market table games segment in the fast growing Cotai region, we believe we are well positioned to cater to this increasingly important, and more profitable, segment of the market.

While industry trends in Macau have improved since the third quarter of 2016, Macau continues to be impacted by a range of external factors, including the slowdown in the Chinese economy and government policies that may adversely affect the Macau gaming market. For example, the Chinese government has taken

 

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measures to deter marketing of gaming activities to mainland Chinese residents by foreign casinos and to reduce capital outflow. Such measures include reducing the amount that China-issued ATM cardholders can withdraw in each withdrawal, setting a limit for annual withdrawal and the launch of facial recognition and identity card checks with respect to certain ATM users.

We believe the long-term growth in gaming and non-gaming revenues in Macau are supported by, among other things, the continuing emergence of a wealthier demographic in China, a robust regulatory framework and significant new infrastructure developments in Macau and China, as well as by the anticipated new supply of gaming and non-gaming facilities in Macau, which is predominantly focused on the Cotai region. Visitation to Macau totaled more than 32.6 million in 2017, increasing by 5.4% compared to 2016. While visitors from China represented 68.1%, increasing by 8.5% compared to 2016, visitors from Hong Kong and Taiwan represented 18.9% and 3.3%, of all visitors to Macau in 2017, respectively.

Gaming in Macau is administered through government-sanctioned concessions awarded to three different concessionaires: SJM, in which Mr. Lawrence Ho, our chairman and chief executive officer, and his family members have shareholding interests; Wynn Macau, a subsidiary of Wynn Resorts Ltd.; and Galaxy. SJM has granted a subconcession to MGM Grand Paradise, which was originally formed as a joint venture by MGM-Mirage and Ms. Pansy Ho, sister of Mr. Lawrence Ho. Galaxy has granted a subconcession to VML, a subsidiary of Sands China Ltd and Las Vegas Sands Corporation. Melco Resorts Macau obtained its subconcession under the concession of Wynn Macau.

SJM currently operates multiple casinos throughout Macau. SJM (through its predecessor) started its gaming operations in Macau in 1962 and is undergoing construction of its new resort in Cotai which has been announced to open in 2019.

Wynn Macau opened the Wynn Macau in September 2006 on the Macau Peninsula and an extension called Encore in 2010. In August 2016, Wynn Macau opened a new resort, Wynn Palace, in Cotai.

Galaxy currently operates multiple casinos in Macau, including StarWorld, a hotel and casino resort in Macau’s central business and tourism district. The Galaxy Macau Resort opened in Cotai in May 2011 and the opening of Phase 2 of the Galaxy Macau Resort took place in May 2015.

VML operates Sands Macao on the Macau Peninsula, The Venetian Macao, the Plaza Casino at The Four Seasons Hotel Macao, the Sands Cotai Central and the Parisian Macao and has announced proposals for the re-branding and redevelopment of the Sands Cotai Central into The Londoner Macao.

MGM Grand Paradise opened the MGM Macau in December 2007, which is located next to Wynn Macau on the Macau Peninsula, and the MGM Cotai in February 2018.

The existing concessions and subconcessions do not place any limit on the number of gaming facilities that may be operated. In addition to facing competition from existing operations of these concessionaires and subconcessionaires, we will face increased competition when any of them constructs new, or renovates pre-existing, casinos in Macau or enters into leasing, services or other arrangements with hotel owners, developers or other parties for the operation of casinos and gaming activities in new or renovated properties. Each concessionaire was permitted to grant one subconcession. The Macau government is currently considering the process of renewal, extension or grant of gaming concessions or subconcessions expiring in 2020 and 2022. The Macau government further announced that the number of gaming tables in Macau should not exceed 5,500 until the end of the first quarter of 2013 and that, thereafter, for a period of ten years, the total number of gaming tables to be authorized will be limited to an average annual increase of 3%. These restrictions are not legislated or enacted into laws or regulations and, as such, different policies, including on the annual rate of increase in the number of gaming tables, may be adopted at any time by the relevant Macau government authorities. According to the DICJ, the number of gaming tables operating in Macau as of December 31, 2017 was 6,419. The Macau

 

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government has reiterated further that it does not intend to authorize the operation of any new casino or gaming area that was not previously authorized by the government, or permit tables authorized for mass market gaming operations to be utilized for VIP gaming operations or authorize the expansion of existing casinos or gaming areas. However, the policies and laws of the Macau government could change and permit the Macau government to grant additional gaming concessions or subconcessions. Such change in policies may also result in a change of the number of gaming tables and casinos that the Macau government is prepared to authorize for operation.

Philippine Gaming Market

We expect City of Dreams Manila to benefit from growth in local and regional gaming demand, supported by improved infrastructure and strong growth in tourism to the Philippines. The Philippine economy is one of the fastest growing economies in the region, with favorable demographics and an expected increase in consumer spending, which we believe will benefit the Philippine gaming market. City of Dreams Manila will face competition in the Philippine market from hotels and resorts owned by both Philippine nationals and foreigners, including many of the largest gaming, hospitality, leisure and resort companies in the world, such as Travellers International Hotel Group, Inc., Bloomberry Resorts Corporation and Tiger Resorts Leisure and Entertainment Inc. Our competitors in the Philippine market also include the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, an entity owned and controlled by the government of the Philippines, which operates certain gaming facilities across the Philippines.

Other Regional Markets

We may also face competition from casinos and gaming resorts located in other Asian destinations together with cruise ships. Casinos and integrated gaming resorts are becoming increasingly popular in Asia, giving rise to more opportunities for industry participants and increasing regional competition. There are major gaming facilities in Australia located in Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and the Gold Coast. Genting Highlands is a popular international gaming resort in Malaysia, approximately a one-hour drive from Kuala Lumpur. South Korea has allowed gaming for some time but these offerings are available primarily to foreign visitors. There are also casinos in Vietnam and Cambodia, although they are relatively small compared to those in Macau.

Singapore legalized casino gaming in 2006. Genting Singapore PLC opened its resort in Sentosa, Singapore, in February 2010 and Las Vegas Sands Corporation opened its casino in Marina Bay, Singapore, in April 2010. In December 2016, a law which conceptually enables the development of integrated resorts in Japan took effect. In addition, several other Asian countries are considering or are in the process of legalizing gambling and establishing casino-based entertainment complexes.

Seasonality

Macau, our principal market of operation, experiences many peaks and seasonal effects. The “Golden Week” and “Chinese New Year” holidays are in general the key periods where business and visitation increase considerably in Macau. In the Philippines, business considerably slows down during the “Holy Week,” as well as during the “Chinese New Year” and the “Chinese Ghost Month.” While we may experience fluctuations in revenues and cash flows from month to month, we do not believe that our business is materially impacted by seasonality.

Intellectual Property

We have applied for and/or registered certain trademarks, including “Altira,” “Mocha Club,” “City of Dreams,” “Nüwa,” “The Countdown,” “City of Dreams Manila,” “Studio City,” “Melco Resorts Philippines” and “Melco Resorts & Entertainment” in Macau, the Philippines and/or other jurisdictions. We have also applied for or registered in Macau, the Philippines and other jurisdictions certain other trademarks and service marks used or to be used in connection with the operations of our hotel casino projects in Macau and City of Dreams Manila.

 

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For our license or hotel management agreements that are required for our operations, see “Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects — C. Research and Development, Patents and Licenses, etc.”

Regulations

Macau Regulations

Gaming Regulations

The ownership and operation of casino gaming facilities in Macau are subject to the general civil and commercial laws and to specific gaming laws, in particular, Law no. 16/2001, or the Macau Gaming Law. Macau’s gaming operations are also subject to the grant of a concession or subconcession by, and regulatory control of, the Macau government. See “— Gaming Licenses” below for more details.

The DICJ is the supervisory authority and regulator of the gaming industry in Macau. The core functions of the DICJ are:

 

    to collaborate in the definition of gaming policies;

 

    to supervise and monitor the activities of the concessionaires and subconcessionaires;

 

    to investigate and monitor the continuing suitability and financial capacity requirements of concessionaires, subconcessionaires and gaming promoters;

 

    to issue licenses to gaming promoters;

 

    to license and certify gaming equipment; and

 

    to issue directives and recommend practices with respect to the ordinary operation of casinos.

Below are the main features of the Macau Gaming Law, as supplemented by Administrative Regulation no. 26/2001, that are applicable to our business.

 

    If we violate the Macau Gaming Law, Melco Resorts Macau’s subconcession could be limited, conditioned, suspended or revoked, subject to compliance with certain statutory and regulatory procedures. In addition, we, and the persons involved, could be subject to substantial fines for each separate violation of Macau Gaming Law or of the Subconcession Contract at the discretion of the Macau government. Further, if we terminate or suspend the operation of all or a part of our gaming operations without permission for reasons not due to force majeure, or in the event of insufficiency of our facilities and equipment which may affect the normal operation of our gaming business, the Macau government would be entitled to replace Melco Resorts Macau during such disruption and to ensure the continued operation of the gaming business. Under such circumstances, we would bear the expenses required for maintaining the normal operation of the gaming business.

 

    The Macau government also has the power to supervise subconcessionaires in order to assure financial stability and capability. See “— Gaming Licenses — The Subconcession Contract in Macau.”

 

    Any person who fails or refuses to apply for a finding of suitability after being ordered to do so by the Macau government may be found unsuitable. Any shareholder of a concessionaire or subconcessionaire holding shares equal to or in excess of 5% of concessionaire or subconcessionaire share capital who is found unsuitable will be required to dispose of such shares by a certain time (the transfer itself being subject to the Macau government’s authorization). If a disposal has not taken place by the time so designated, such shares must be acquired by the concessionaire or subconcessionaire. Melco Resorts Macau will be subject to disciplinary action if, after it receives notice that a person is unsuitable to be a shareholder or to have any other relationship with it, Melco Resorts Macau:

 

    pays that person any dividend or interest upon its shares;

 

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    allows that person to exercise, directly or indirectly, any voting right conferred through shares held by that person;

 

    pays remuneration in any form to that person for services rendered or otherwise; or

 

    fails to pursue all lawful efforts to require that unsuitable person to relinquish his or her shares.

 

    The Macau government also requires prior approval for the creation of a lien over shares, the property comprising a casino and gaming equipment and utensils of a concession or subconcession holder. In addition, the creation of restrictions on its shares in respect of any public offering also requires the approval of the Macau government to be effective.

 

    The Macau government must give its prior approval to changes in control through a merger, consolidation, share or asset acquisition, or any act or conduct by any person whereby such person obtains control. Entities seeking to acquire control of a concessionaire or subconcessionaire must satisfy the Macau government concerning a variety of stringent standards prior to assuming control. The Macau government may also require controlling shareholders, officers, directors and other persons having a material relationship or involvement with the entity proposing to acquire control, to be investigated for suitability as part of the approval process of the transaction.

Non-compliance with these obligations could lead to the revocation of Melco Resorts Macau’s subconcession and could materially adversely affect our gaming operations.

The Macau government has also enacted other gaming legislation, rules and policies. Further, it imposed regulations and restrictions that affect the minimum age required for entrance into casinos in Macau, the number of gaming tables that may be operated in Macau, location requirements for sites with gaming machine lounges, supply and requirements of gaming machines, equipment and systems, instruction on responsible gaming, restrictions on the utilization of mass market gaming tables for VIP gaming operations and other matters. In addition, the Macau government may consider enacting new regulations that may adversely affect our gaming operations. Our inability to address the requirements or restrictions imposed by the Macau government under such legislation or rules could adversely affect our gaming operations.

Gaming Promoters Regulations

Macau Administrative Regulation no. 6/2002, as amended pursuant to Administrative Regulation no. 27/2009, or the Gaming Promoters Regulation, regulates licensing of gaming promoters and the operations of gaming promotion business by gaming promoters. Gaming promoters’ applications to the DICJ must be sponsored by a concessionaire or subconcessionaire who will confirm that it may contract the applicant’s services subject to the latter being licensed. Licenses are subject to annual renewal and a list of licensed gaming promoters is published every year in the Macau Official Gazette. The DICJ monitors each gaming promoter and its employees and collaborators. In October 2015, the DICJ issued specific accounting related instructions applicable to gaming promoters and the operations of gaming promoters business. Any failure by the gaming promoters to comply with such instructions may impact their license and ability to operate in Macau.

In addition, concessionaires and subconcessionaires are jointly liable for the activities of their gaming promoters and collaborators within their casinos. In addition to the licensing and suitability assessment process performed by the DICJ, all of our gaming promoters undergo a thorough internal vetting process. We conduct background checks and also conduct periodic reviews of the activities of each gaming promoter, its employees and its collaborators for possible non-compliance with Macau legal and regulatory requirements. Such reviews generally include investigations into compliance with applicable money laundering laws and regulations as well as tax withholding requirements.

Concessionaires and subconcessionaires are required to report periodically on commissions and other remunerations paid to their gaming promoters. A 5% tax must be withheld on commissions and other

 

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remunerations paid by a concessionaire or subconcessionaire to its gaming promoters. Under the Gaming Promoters Regulation and in accordance with the Secretary for Economy and Finance Dispatch no. 83/2009, of September 11, 2009 a commission cap of 1.25% of net rolling is in effect. Any bonuses, gifts, services or other advantages which are subject to monetary valuation and which are granted, directly or indirectly, inside or outside of Macau by any concessionaire or subconcessionaires or any company of their respective group to any gaming promoter shall be considered a commission. The commission cap regulations impose fines (ranging from MOP100,000 up to MOP500,000) on gaming operators that do not comply with the cap and other fines (ranging from MOP50,000 up to MOP250,000) on gaming operators that do not comply with their reporting obligations regarding commission payments. If breached, the legislation on commission caps has a sanction enabling the relevant government authority to make public a government decision imposing a fine on a concessionaire and subconcessionaire, by publishing such decision on the DICJ website and in two Macau newspapers (in Chinese and Portuguese respectively). We believe we have implemented the necessary internal control systems to ensure compliance with the commission cap and reporting obligations in accordance with applicable rules and regulations.

The Macau government is currently considering amending the Macau Administrative Regulation no. 6/2002. The Macau government is, among other things, proposing more stringent and restrictive licensing requirements for gaming promoters, the imposition of new penalties and the increase of the amounts of current fines.

Gaming Credit Regulations

Macau Law no. 5/2004 has legalized the extension of gaming credit to patrons or gaming promoters by concessionaires and subconcessionaires. Gaming promoters may also extend credit to patrons upon obtaining an authorization by a concessionaire or subconcessionaire to carry out such activity. Assigning or transferring one’s authorization to extend gaming credit is not permitted. This statute sets forth filing obligations for those extending credit and the supervising role of the DICJ in this activity. Gaming debts contracted pursuant to this statute are a source of civil obligations and may be enforced in court.

Access to Casinos and Gaming Areas Regulations

Under Law no. 10/2012, the minimum age required for entrance into casinos in Macau is 21 years of age. The director of the DICJ may authorize employees under 21 years of age to temporarily enter casinos or gaming areas, after considering their special technical qualifications. The Macau government is currently considering an amendment to Law no. 10/2012 to the effect that off-duty gaming employees may not access any casinos or gaming areas, except during the Chinese New Year festive season.

Smoking Regulations

Under the Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Law, smoking is not permitted in casino premises, except for an area of up to 50% of the casino area opened to the public as determined by Dispatch of the Chief Executive of Macau. Effective from October 2014, smoking in general access gaming areas is only permitted in segregated smoking lounges with no gaming activities. Smoking in limited access gaming areas would be subject to prior authorization from the Chief Executive of Macau.

In July 2017, Law no. 9/2017 amended the Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Law, with effect from January 1, 2018, under which smoking on casino premises shall only be permitted in segregated smoking lounges with no gaming activities, and such segregated smoking lounges are required to be set up within a transition period of one year subsequent to the effective date. During the transition period, existing smoking areas and smoking lounges can be maintained.

 

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Anti-Money Laundering Regulations in Macau

In conjunction with current gaming laws and regulations, we are required to comply with the laws and regulations relating to anti-money laundering activities in Macau. Law 2/2006, which is currently under review by the Macau government, the Administrative Regulation 7/2006 and the DICJ Instruction 1/2016 in effect from May 13, 2016 govern our compliance requirements with respect to identifying, reporting and preventing anti-money laundering and terrorism financing crimes at our casinos. Under these laws and regulations, we are required to:

 

    implement internal procedures and rules governing the prevention of anti-money laundering and terrorism financing crimes which are subject to prior approval from DICJ;

 

    identify and evaluate the money laundering and terrorism financing risk inherent to gaming activities;

 

    identify any customer who is in a stable business relationship with Melco Resorts Macau, who is a politically exposed persons or any customer or transaction where there is a sign of money laundering or financing of terrorism or which involves significant sums of money in the context of the transaction, even if any sign of money laundering is absent;

 

    refuse to deal with any of our customers who fail to provide any information requested by us;

 

    keep records on the identification of a customer for a period of five years;

 

    establish a regime for electronic transfers;

 

    keep individual records of all transactions related to gaming which involve credit securities;

 

    keep records of all electronic transactions for amounts equal to or exceeding MOP8,000 (equivalent to approximately US$998) in cases of occasional transactions and MOP120,000 (equivalent to approximately US$14,975) in cases of transactions that arose in the context of a continuous business relationship;

 

    notify the Finance Information Bureau if there is any sign of money laundering or financing of terrorism;

 

    adopt as compliance function and appoint compliance officers; and

 

    cooperate with the Macau government by providing all required information and documentation requested in relation to anti-money laundering activities.

Under Article 2 of Administrative Regulation 7/2006 and the DICJ Instruction 1/2016, we are required to track and mandatorily report transactions and granting of credit in a minimum amount of MOP500,000 (equivalent to approximately US$62,000). Pursuant to the legal requirements above, if the customer provides all required information, after submitting the reports, we may continue to deal with those customers that we reported to the DICJ and, in case of suspicious transactions, to the Finance Information Bureau.

We employ internal controls and procedures designed to help ensure that our gaming and other operations are conducted in a professional manner and in compliance with internal control requirements issued by the DICJ set forth in its instruction on anti-money laundering, the applicable laws and regulations in Macau, as well as the requirements set forth in the Subconcession Contract.

We have developed a comprehensive anti-money laundering policy and related procedures covering our anti-money laundering responsibilities, which have been approved by the DICJ, and have training programs in place to ensure that all relevant employees understand such anti-money laundering policy and procedures. We also use an integrated IT system to track and automatically generate significant cash transaction reports and, if permitted by the DICJ and the Finance Information Bureau, to submit those reports electronically.

 

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Responsible Gaming Regulations

On October 18, 2012, the DICJ issued Instruction no. 2/2012, which came into effect on November 1, 2012, setting out measures for the implementation of responsible gaming principles. Under this instruction, concessionaires and subconcessionaires are required to implement certain measures to promote responsible gambling, including: making information available on the risks of gambling, responsible gambling and odds, both inside and outside the casinos and gaming areas and through electronic means; creation of information and counseling kiosks and a hotline; adequate regulation of lighting inside casinos and gaming areas; public exhibition of time; and creation and training of teams and a coordinator responsible for promoting responsible gambling.

Control of Cross-border Transportation of Cash Regulations

On June 12, 2017, Law no. 6/2017 with respect to the control of cross-border transportation of cash and other negotiable instruments to the bearer, was enacted. Such law came into effect on November 1, 2017. In accordance with such law, all individuals entering Macau with an amount in cash or negotiable instrument to the bearer equal to or higher than the amount determined by the order of the Chief Executive of Macau at MOP120,000 (equivalent to approximately US$14,975) will be required to declare such amount to the customs authorities. The customs authorities may also request an individual exiting Macau to declare if such individual is carrying an amount in cash or negotiable instruments to the bearer equal to or higher to such amount. Individuals that fail to duly complete the required declaration may be subject to a fine (ranging from 1% to 5% of the amount that exceeds the amount determined by the order of the Chief Executive of Macau for declaration purposes, such fine being at least MOP1,000 (equivalent to approximately US$125) and not exceeding MOP500,000 (equivalent to approximately US$62,395)). In the event the relevant customs authorities find that the cash or negotiable instrument to the bearer carried by an individual while entering or exiting Macau may be associated with or result from any criminal activity, such incident shall be notified to the relevant criminal authorities and the relevant amounts shall be seized pending investigation.

Prevention and Suppression of Corruption in External Trade Regulations

In addition to the general criminal laws regarding corrupt practices in the public and private sector that are in force in Macau, on January 1, 2015, Law no. 10/2014 criminalizing corruption acts in external trade and providing for a system for prevention and suppression of such criminal acts came into effect in Macau. Our internal policies, namely the Code of Business Conduct and Ethics and Ethical Business Practices Program address this issue.

Asset Freezing Enforcement Regulations

On August 29, 2016, Law no. 6/2016 with respect to the framework for the enforcement of asset freezing orders, which comprised of United Nations Security Council sanctions resolutions for the fight against terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction was enacted. Under this law, the Chief Executive of Macau is the competent authority to enforce freezing orders and the Coordinating Commission for the Freezing Regime must assist the Chief Executive in all technical aspects of such enforcement. Among other entities, gaming operators are subject to certain obligations and duties regarding the freezing of assets ordered by the United Nations Security Council sanctions resolutions, including reporting and cooperation obligations.

Foreign Exchange Regulations

Gaming operators in Macau may be authorized to open foreign exchange counters at their casinos and gaming areas subject to compliance with the Foreign Exchange Agencies Constitution and Operation Law (Decree-Law no. 38/97/M), the Exchange Rate Regime (Decree-Law no. 39/97/M) and the specific requirements determined by the Monetary Authority of Macau. The transaction permitted to be performed in such counters is limited to buying and selling bank bills and coins in foreign currency, and to buying travelers checks.

 

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Intellectual Property Rights Regulations

Our subsidiaries incorporated in Macau are subject to local intellectual property regulations. Intellectual property protection in Macau is supervised by the Intellectual Property Department of the Economic Services Bureau of the Macau government.

The applicable regime in Macau with regard to intellectual property rights is defined by two main laws. The Industrial Property Code (Decree-Law no. 97/99/M, as amended pursuant to Law no. 11/2001), covers (i) inventions meeting the patentability requirements; (ii) semiconductor topography products; (iii) trademarks; (iv) designations of origin and geographical indications; and (v) awards. The Regime of Copyright and Related Rights (Decree-Law no. 43/99/M, as amended by Law no. 5/2012), protects intellectual works and creations in the literary, scientific and artistic fields, by copyright and related rights.

Personal Data Regulations

Processing of personal data by our subsidiaries in Macau is subject to compliance with the Personal Data Protection Act (Law no. 8/2005). The Office for Personal Data Protection, or GPDP, is the regulatory authority in Macau in charge of supervising and enforcing the Personal Data Protection Act. Breaches are subject to civil liability, administrative and criminal sanctions. The legal framework requires that certain procedures must be adopted before collecting, processing and/or transferring personal data, including obtaining consent from the data subject.

Labor Quotas Regulations

All businesses in Macau must apply to the Labor Affairs Bureau for labor quotas to import non-resident unskilled workers from China and other regions or countries. Non-resident skilled workers are also subject to the issuance of a work permit by the Macau government, which is given individually on a case-by-case basis. Businesses are free to employ Macau residents in any position, as by definition all Macau residents have the right to work in Macau. We have, through our subsidiaries, two main groups of labor quotas in Macau, one to import unskilled workers from China and the other to import unskilled workers from all other countries. Melco Resorts Macau is required by law to employ only Macau residents as dealers and supervisors.

Pursuant to Macau social security laws, Macau employers must register their employees under a mandatory social security fund and make social security contributions for each of its resident employees and pay a special duty for each of its non-resident employees on a quarterly basis. Employers must also buy insurance to cover employment accidents and occupational illness for all employees.

Land Regulations

Macau land is legally divided into plots. In most cases, private interests in real property located in Macau are obtained through long-term leases from the Macau government.

Our subsidiaries have entered into land concession contracts for the land on which our Altira Macau, City of Dreams and Studio City properties are located. Each contract has a term of 25 years and is renewable for further consecutive periods of ten years and imposes, among other conditions, a development period, a land premium payment, a nominal annual government land use fee, which may be adjusted every five years, and a guarantee deposit upon acceptance of the land lease terms, which are subject to adjustments from time to time in line with the amounts paid as annual land use fees.

The land is initially granted on a provisional basis and registered as such with the Macau Real Property Registry and only upon completion of the development is the land concession converted into definitive status and so registered with the Macau Real Property Registry.

 

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Restrictions on Distribution of Profits

All subsidiaries incorporated in Macau are required to set aside a minimum of 10% to 25% of the entity’s profit after tax to the legal reserve until the balance of the legal reserve reaches a level equivalent to 25% to 50% of the entity’s share capital in accordance with the provisions of the Macau Commercial Code. The legal reserve sets aside an amount from the subsidiaries’ statements of operations and is not available for distribution to the shareholders of the subsidiaries. The appropriation of legal reserve is recorded in the subsidiaries’ financial statements in the year in which it is approved by the boards of directors of the relevant subsidiaries. As of December 31, 2017, the aggregate balance of the reserves of all our Macau subsidiaries amounted to US$31.2 million.

Philippines Regulations

Gaming Regulations

Melco Philippine Parties and Philippine Parties are co-licensees of the Regular License dated April 29, 2015 issued by PAGCOR (previously the Provisional License) for the development of an integrated casino, hotel, retail and entertainment complex within the Entertainment City, Manila. As one of the Philippine Licensees, Melco Resorts Leisure has been named as the special purpose entity to operate the casino business and act as the sole and exclusive representative of the Philippine Licensees for the purposes of the Regular License. The Regular License is one of the four licenses granted to various parties to develop integrated tourism resorts and establish and operate casinos in Entertainment City.

The Casino Regulatory Manual (CRM) was originally issued in January 2013 by PAGCOR for the guidance of the Entertainment City licensees. It was developed to meet the following objectives of PAGCOR: (a) to ensure a level playing field among industry proponents; (b) maintain the orderly and predictable environment; (c) enforce license terms and conditions; (d) promote fairness and integrity in the conduct of games; (e) provide an underlying platform for responsible gaming; (f) disallow access to gaming venues by minors and financially vulnerable persons; and (g) prevent licensed gaming venues from being used for illegal activities.

The CRM contains regulations and standards that the Entertainment City licensees, including City of Dreams Manila, should adhere to and observe. It should be read in conjunction with the Regular License. It contains regulations on areas such as, but not limited to: casino layout, table games and electronic gaming machines, casino management system, surveillance, gaming chips and plaques, procurement of gaming equipment and gaming paraphernalia as well as the accreditation of suppliers thereof; casino operational rules and guidelines; conduct of gaming; casino player incentives; marketing and promotions; chipwashing and junket operations; banned personalities; determination of gross gaming revenues for table games, electronic gaming machines and other fees; and determination, collection and remittance of PAGCOR license fees. The CRM is annually revised to incorporate changes and revisions to the CRM proposed by any of the Entertainment City licensees and approved by PAGCOR. To date, the CRM is now on its fourth (4th) version.

The ownership and operation of casino gaming facilities in the Philippines are subject to the regulatory supervision of PAGCOR. See “— PAGCOR Licenses in the Philippines” below for more details.

Anti-Money Laundering Regulations in the Philippines

The Philippine AMLA criminalized money laundering and imposed certain requirements on customer identification, record keeping, and reporting of covered and suspicious transactions by covered persons as defined under the law.

Previously, City of Dreams Manila was covered by the AMLA only to a limited extent and was only required to report its foreign exchange transactions/money changer activities. However, with the new amendment

 

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to the existing Philippine AMLA, casinos are now included as covered persons subject to reporting and other requirements. Therefore, City of Dreams Manila, both in relation to its foreign exchange transactions/money changer activities, as well as its casino operations, is now required to report (i) transactions in cash or other equivalent monetary instrument involving a total amount in excess of PHP500,000 within one (1) banking day, with respect to its foreign exchange transactions/money changer activities, and (ii) single casino cash transaction involving an amount in excess of PHP5,000,000 or its equivalent in any other currency, with respect to its casino operations. Suspicious transactions, regardless of amount, are also required to be reported in connection with both its foreign exchange transactions/money changer activities and casino operations.

PAGCOR is expected to issue further guidelines for compliance by its licensees with the new AMLA.

Environmental Laws

Development projects that are classified by law as Environmentally Critical Projects (“ECP”) within statutorily defined Environmentally Critical Areas (“ECAs”) are required to obtain an Environmental Compliance Certificate (“ECC”) prior to commencement.

The Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (“DENR-EMB”) issued an ECC to Belle Corporation for City of Dreams Manila. Under the terms of its Philippine Economic Zone Authority (“PEZA”) registration, Melco Resorts Leisure is required, prior to the start of commercial operations of City of Dreams Manila, to either: (a) apply for an ECC with the DENR-EMB and submit an approved copy of the ECC to PEZA within 15 days from its issuance, or (b) submit the ECC issued to Belle Corporation, as the same may be amended to reflect any changes made to City of Dreams Manila, for the review and approval by PEZA. Accordingly, Belle Corporation applied for an Amended ECC to reflect the changes made to City of Dreams Manila. The DENR-EMB issued the Amended ECC to Belle Corporation on July 31, 2014.

Other Applicable Laws

Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

The FCPA prohibits our Company and our employees and agents from offering or giving money or any other item of value to win or retain business or to influence any act or decision of any foreign official. The Code of Business Conduct and Ethics includes specific FCPA related provisions in Section IV and VIII B. To further supplement the Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, our Company implemented a FCPA Compliance Program in 2007, which was revised and expanded in scope in December 2013 as the Ethical Business Practices Program. This covers the activities of the shareholders, directors, officers, employees and counterparties of our Company.

Gaming Licenses

The Concession Regime in Macau

The Macau government conducted an international tender process for gaming concessions in Macau in 2001, and granted three gaming concessions to SJM, Galaxy and Wynn Macau, respectively. Upon authorization by the Macau government, each of SJM, Galaxy and Wynn Macau subsequently entered into subconcession with their respective subconcessionaires to operate casino games and other games of chance in Macau. No further granting of subconcessions is permitted unless specifically authorized by the Macau government.

Though there are no restrictions on the number of casinos or gaming areas that may be operated under each concession or subconcession, Macau government approval is required for the commencement of operations of any casino or gaming area.

The subconcessionaires that entered into subconcession contracts with Wynn Macau, SJM and Galaxy are Melco Resorts Macau, MGM Grand Paradise and VML, respectively. Our subsidiary, Melco Resorts Macau,

 

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executed the Subconcession Contract with Wynn Macau on September 8, 2006. Wynn Macau will continue to develop and run hotel operations and casino projects independent of ours.

All concessionaires and subconcessionaires must pay a special gaming tax of 35% of gross gaming revenues, defined as all gaming revenues derived from casino or gaming areas, plus an annual gaming premium of:

 

    MOP30 million (equivalent to approximately US$3.7 million) per annum fixed premium;

 

    MOP300,000 (equivalent to approximately US$37,437) per annum per VIP gaming table;

 

    MOP150,000 (equivalent to approximately US$18,719) per annum per mass market gaming table; and

 

    MOP1,000 (equivalent to approximately US$125) per annum per electric or mechanical gaming.

The Macau government has been considering the extension, renewal or grant of new concessions and subconcessions. As part of such efforts, in May 2016, the Macau government conducted a mid-term review to analyze the impact of the gaming industry on the local economy, business environment of small and medium enterprises, local population and gaming and non-gaming business sectors and the current status of the gaming promoters.

The Subconcession Contract in Macau

The Subconcession Contract in Macau provides for the terms and conditions of the subconcession granted to Melco Resorts Macau by Wynn Macau. Melco Resorts Macau does not have the right to further grant a subconcession or transfer the operation to third parties.

Melco Resorts Macau paid a consideration of US$900 million to Wynn Macau. On September 8, 2006, Melco Resorts Macau was granted the right to operate games of fortune and chance or other games in casinos in Macau until the expiration of the subconcession on June 26, 2022. No further payments need to be made to Wynn Macau in future operations during the concession period.

The Macau government has confirmed that the subconcession is independent of Wynn Macau’s concession and that Melco Resorts Macau does not have any obligations to Wynn Macau pursuant to the Subconcession Contract. It is thus not affected by any modification, suspension, redemption, termination or rescission of Wynn Macau’s concession. In addition, an early termination of Wynn Macau’s concession before June 26, 2022, would not result in the termination of the subconcession. The subconcession was authorized and approved by the Macau government. Absent any change to Melco Resorts Macau’s legal status, rights, duties and obligations towards the Macau government or any change in applicable law, Melco Resorts Macau will continue to be validly entitled to operate independently under and pursuant to the subconcession, notwithstanding the termination or rescission of Wynn Macau’s concession, the insolvency of Wynn Macau and/or the replacement of Wynn Macau as concessionaire in the Subconcession Contract. The Macau government has a contractual obligation to the effect that, should Wynn Macau cease to hold the concession prior to June 26, 2022, the Macau government would replace Wynn Macau with another entity so as to ensure that Melco Resorts Macau may continue to operate games of chance and other games in casinos in Macau and the subconcession would at all times be under a concession. Both the Macau government and Wynn Macau have undertaken to cooperate with Melco Resorts Macau to ensure all the legal and contractual obligations are met.

A summary of the key terms of the Subconcession Contract is as follows.

Development of Gaming Projects/Financial Obligations. The Subconcession Contract requires us to make a minimum investment in Macau of MOP4.0 billion (equivalent to approximately US$499.2 million), including investment in fully developing Altira Macau and the City of Dreams, by December 2010. In June 2010, we obtained confirmation from the Macau government that as of the date of the confirmation, we had invested over MOP4.0 billion (equivalent to approximately US$499.2 million) in our projects in Macau.

 

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Payments. Subconcession premiums and taxes, computed in various ways depending upon the type of gaming or activity involved, are payable to the Macau government. The method for computing these fees and taxes may be changed from time to time by the Macau government. Depending upon the particular fee or tax involved, these fees and taxes are payable either monthly or annually and are based upon either a percentage of the gross revenues or the number and type of gaming devices operated. In addition to special gaming taxes of 35% of gross gaming revenues, we are also required to contribute to the Macau government an amount equivalent to 1.6% of the gross revenues of our gaming business. Such contribution must be delivered to a public foundation designated by the Macau government whose goal is to promote, develop or study culture, society, economy, education and science and engage in academic and charitable activities. Furthermore, we are also obligated to contribute to Macau an amount equivalent to 2.4% of the gross revenues of the gaming business for urban development, tourism promotion and the social security of Macau. We are required to collect and pay, through withholding, statutory taxes on commissions or other remunerations paid to gaming promoters.

Termination Rights. The Macau government has the right, after notifying Wynn Macau, to unilaterally terminate Melco Resorts Macau’s subconcession in the event of non-compliance by us with our basic obligations under the subconcession and applicable Macau laws. Upon termination, all of our casino premises and gaming equipment would revert to the Macau government automatically without compensation to us and we would cease to generate any revenues from these operations. In many of these instances, the Subconcession Contract does not provide a specific cure period within which any such events may be cured and, instead, we may be dependent on consultations and negotiations with the Macau government to give us an opportunity to remedy any such default. Neither Melco Resorts Macau nor Wynn Macau is granted explicit rights of veto, or of prior consultation. The Macau government may be able to unilaterally rescind the Subconcession Contract upon the following termination events:

 

    the operation of gaming without permission or operation of business which does not fall within the business scope of the subconcession;

 

    abandonment of approved business or suspension of operations of our gaming business in Macau without reasonable grounds for more than seven consecutive days or more than 14 non-consecutive days within one calendar year;

 

    transfer of all or part of Melco Resorts Macau’s operation in Macau in violation of the relevant laws and administrative regulations governing the operation of games of fortune or chance and other casino games in Macau and without Macau government approval;

 

    failure to pay taxes, premiums, levies or other amounts payable to the Macau government;

 

    refusal or failure to resume operations following the temporary assumption of operations by the Macau government;

 

    repeated opposition to the supervision and inspection by the Macau government and failure to comply with decisions and recommendations of the Macau government, especially those of the DICJ, applicable to us;

 

    failure to provide or supplement the guarantee deposit or the guarantees specified in the subconcession within the prescribed period;

 

    bankruptcy or insolvency of Melco Resorts Macau;

 

    fraudulent activity harming public interest;

 

    serious and repeated violation of the applicable rules for carrying out casino games of chance or games of other forms or damage to the fairness of casino games of chance or games of other forms;

 

    systematic non-compliance with the Macau Gaming Law’s basic obligations;

 

    the grant to any other person of any managing power over the gaming business of Melco Resorts Macau or the grant of a subconcession or entering into any agreement to the same effect; or

 

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    failure by a controlling shareholder in Melco Resorts Macau to dispose of its interest in Melco Resorts Macau, within 90 days from the date of the authorization given by the Macau government for such disposal, pursuant to written instructions received from the regulatory authority of a jurisdiction where the said shareholder is licensed to operate, which have had the effect that such controlling shareholder now wishes to dispose of the shares it owns in Melco Resorts Macau.

Ownership and Capitalization. Set out below are the key terms in relation to ownership and capitalization under the Subconcession Contract:

 

    any person who directly acquires voting rights in Melco Resorts Macau will be subject to authorization from the Macau government;

 

    Melco Resorts Macau will be required to take the necessary measures to ensure that any person who directly or indirectly acquires more than 5% of the shares in Melco Resorts Macau would be subject to authorization from the Macau government, except when such acquisition is wholly made through the shares of publicly-listed companies tradable at a stock exchange;

 

    any person who directly or indirectly acquires more than 5% of the shares in Melco Resorts Macau will be required to report the acquisition to the Macau government (except when such acquisition is wholly made through shares tradable on a stock exchange as a publicly-listed company);

 

    the Macau government’s prior approval would be required for any recapitalization plan of Melco Resorts Macau; and

 

    the Chief Executive of Macau could require the increase of Melco Resorts Macau’s share capital, if deemed necessary.

Redemption. Under the Subconcession Contract, from 2017, the Macau government has the right to redeem the Subconcession Contract by providing us with at least one year’s prior notice. In the event the Macau government exercises this redemption right, we would be entitled to compensation. The standards for the calculation of the amount of such compensation would be determined based on the gross revenues generated by City of Dreams during the tax year immediately prior to the redemption, multiplied by the remaining years of the term of the subconcession. We would not receive any further compensation (including for consideration paid to Wynn Macau for the subconcession).

Others. In addition, the Subconcession Contract contains various general covenants and obligations and other provisions, including special duties of cooperation, special duties of information, and execution of our investment obligations.

See “Item 3. Key Information — D. Risk Factors — Risks Relating to the Gaming Industry and Our Operations in Macau — Melco Resorts Macau’s Subconcession Contract expires in 2022 and if we were unable to secure an extension of its subconcession, or a new concession or subconcession, in 2022, or if the Macau government were to exercise its redemption right, we would be unable to operate casino gaming in Macau.”

PAGCOR Licenses in the Philippines

The Regular License issued by PAGCOR authorizes the Philippine Licensees, through Melco Resorts Leisure, to establish and operate a casino in the Philippines for both local and foreign patrons who are at least twenty-one years of age.

In general, the Regular License imposes certain obligations such as, but not limited to, the following:

 

    payment of monthly license fees to PAGCOR;

 

    maintenance of a debt-to-equity ratio (based on calculation as agreed with PAGCOR) for each of the Philippine Licensees of no greater than 70:30;

 

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    at least 95.0% of the total employees of City of Dreams Manila must be Philippine citizens;

 

    2.0% of certain casino revenues must be remitted to a foundation devoted to the restoration of cultural heritage and 5.0% of certain non-gaming revenues to PAGCOR; and

 

    operation of only the authorized casino games approved by PAGCOR.

See “Item 3. Key Information – D. Risk Factors – Risks Relating to the Gaming Industry and Our Business in the Philippines – MRP’s gaming operations are dependent on the Regular License issued by PAGCOR.”

Tax

We are incorporated in the Cayman Islands. Under the current laws of the Cayman Islands, we and our subsidiaries incorporated in the Cayman Islands are not subject to Cayman Islands income or capital gains tax. In addition, dividend payments are not subject to withholding tax in the Cayman Islands. However, we are subject to Hong Kong profits tax on profits arising from our activities conducted in Hong Kong.

Our subsidiaries incorporated in the British Virgin Islands are not subject to tax in the British Virgin Islands, but certain subsidiaries incorporated in the British Virgin Islands are subject to Macau complementary tax of 12% on profits earned in or derived from its activities conducted in Macau.

Our subsidiaries incorporated in Macau are subject to Macau complementary tax of up to 12% on profits earned in or derived from their activities conducted in Macau. Having obtained a subconcession, Melco Resorts Macau applied for and was granted the benefit of a corporate tax holiday on Macau complementary tax (but not gaming tax) in 2007, which exempted us from Macau complementary tax for five years from 2007 to 2011 on gaming profits. The Macau government has extended the tax holiday for additional five-year periods from 2012 through 2016 and from 2017 through 2021. In addition, the Macau government granted one of our subsidiaries in Macau the complementary tax exemption until 2021 on profits generated from income received from Melco Resorts Macau, to the extent that such income is derived from Studio City gaming operations and has been subject to gaming tax. The dividend distributions of such subsidiary to its shareholders continue to be subject to complementary tax. We remain subject to Macau complementary tax on our non-gaming profits.

During the five-year period from 2012 through 2016, an annual payment of MOP22.4 million (equivalent to approximately US$2.8 million) was payable by Melco Resorts Macau, effective retroactively from 2012 through 2016, with respect to tax due for dividend distributions to the shareholders of Melco Resorts Macau from gaming profits, whether such dividends are actually distributed by Melco Resorts Macau or not, or whether Melco Resorts Macau has distributable profits in the relevant year. For the five-year period from 2017 through 2021, the annual payment payable by Melco Resort Macau is of MOP18.9 million (equivalent to approximately US$2.4 million). Upon the payment of such payment amount, the shareholders of Melco Resorts Macau will not be liable to pay any other tax in Macau for dividend distributions received from gaming profits. However, we cannot assure you that the same arrangement will be applied beyond 2021 or that, in the event a similar arrangement is adopted, whether we will be required to pay a higher annual sum.

Melco Resorts Macau is subject to Macau gaming tax based on gross gaming revenue in Macau. These gaming taxes are an assessment on Melco Resorts Macau’s gaming revenue and are recorded as casino expense.

The Macau government granted to Altira Hotel, in 2007, and COD Hotels, in 2011 and 2013, the declaration of utility purposes benefit in respect of Altira Macau, The Countdown, Nüwa and Grand Hyatt Macau hotel, pursuant to which they are entitled to a property tax holiday, for a period of 12 years, on any immovable property that they own or operated by them. Under such declaration of utility purposes benefit, they will also be allowed to double the maximum rates applicable regarding depreciation and reintegration for the purposes of assessing the Macau complementary tax. The transfer of the declaration of utility purpose to COD Resorts is currently under process by the Macau government. However, there is no assurance that the Macau government will continue to extend us such benefit.

 

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In September 2017, the Macau government granted Studio City Hotels the declaration of touristic utility purpose pursuant to which Studio City Hotels is entitled to a property tax holiday for a period of twelve years on the immovable property to which the touristic utility was granted, owned or operated by Studio City Hotels. Under such tax holiday, Studio City Hotels is allowed to double the maximum rates applicable to depreciation and reintegration for the purposes of assessment of the Macau complementary tax. Although the Studio City property is owned by Studio City Developments, we believe Studio City Hotels is entitled to such property tax holiday; however, there is no assurance that the Macau government will extend such benefit to Studio City Hotels.

Our subsidiaries incorporated in Hong Kong are subject to Hong Kong profits tax of 16.5% on any profits arising in or derived from Hong Kong. One of our subsidiaries incorporated in Hong Kong is also subject to Macau complementary tax on profits earned in or derived from its activities conducted in Macau and another one is subject to corporate tax on profits in a number of other Asian jurisdictions through its activities conducted in these jurisdictions.

Our subsidiaries incorporated in the Philippines are subject to Philippine corporate income tax of 30% on profits and other local taxes. Some of the subsidiaries are likewise liable for VAT on certain transactions. On gaming related transactions, Melco Resorts Leisure enjoys exemption from national, local, direct and indirect (i.e. VAT) taxes pursuant to the PAGCOR charter and is subject to license fees which are inclusive of the 5% franchise tax payable to PAGCOR based on gross gaming revenue in the Philippines, in lieu of all other taxes. The franchise tax and license fees are an assessment on Melco Resorts Leisure’s gaming revenue and are recorded as casino expense in the consolidated statements of operations. Further, Melco Resorts Leisure, by virtue of its being registered with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority as a Tourism Economic Zone Enterprise, enjoys a tax and duty exemption on importation and VAT zero-rating on its local purchases of certain capital equipment used in registered activities.

C. ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE

We are a holding company for the following principal businesses and developments: (1) 100% economic interest in our Macau gaming subconcession holder, Melco Resorts Macau, which, directly or indirectly through its subsidiary, is the operator of our gaming and non-gaming businesses in various properties in Macau; (2) a majority equity and economic interest in SCI, the holding company of Studio City; and (3) a majority equity and economic interest in MRP, a company listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange, the holding company of City of Dreams Manila.

 

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The following diagram illustrates our organizational structure, including the place of formation, ownership interest and affiliation of our significant subsidiaries, as of April 11, 2018:

 

LOGO

Notes:

 

(1) The treasury shares represent new shares issued by us and held by our depositary bank to facilitate the administration and operation of our share incentive plans. For a description of our share incentive plans, see “Item 6. Directors, Senior Management and Employees — E. Share Ownership — Share Incentive Plans.”

 

(2) As of the latest practicable date, Melco Leisure holds 51.06% shareholding of the Company as per the number of ordinary shares recorded in the Register of Members.

 

(3) The remaining 50% of the equity interests of these companies are owned by Studio City Holdings Five Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Studio City International Holdings Limited. The 50% interest held by Studio City Holdings Five Limited in various Studio City companies incorporated in the British Virgin Islands is non-voting interest.

 

(4) 3.96% and 1% of the equity interests are owned by Studio City Holdings Four Limited and Studio City Holdings Five Limited, respectively.

 

(5) 3.85% of the equity interests are owned by Studio City Holdings Five Limited.

 

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(6) 0.02% of the equity interests are owned by Studio City Holdings Five Limited.

 

(7) The remaining 5% of the equity interests are owned by MCO Nominee Two Limited.

 

(8) Five shares (representing less than 0.01% of the issued share capital) are owned by five nominee directors of each relevant company.

See “Item 7. Major Shareholders and Related Party Transactions — A. Major Shareholders” for more information regarding the beneficial ownership of Melco International in our Company and “Exhibit 8.1 – List of Significant Subsidiaries.”

D. PROPERTY, PLANT AND EQUIPMENT

See “Item 4. Information on the Company — B. Business Overview” and “Item 5. Operation and Financial Review and Prospects — A. Operating Results — Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates — Property and Equipment and Other Long-lived Assets” for information regarding our material tangible property, plant and equipment.

 

ITEM 4A. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

Not applicable.

 

ITEM 5. OPERATING AND FINANCIAL REVIEW AND PROSPECTS

The following discussion should be read in conjunction with, and is qualified in its entirety by, the audited consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto in this Annual Report on Form 20-F. Certain statements in this “Operating and Financial Review and Prospects” are forward-looking statements. See “Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” regarding these statements.

Overview

We are a holding company and, through our subsidiaries, develop, own and operate casino gaming and entertainment casino resort facilities in Asia. Our future operating results are subject to significant business, economic, regulatory and competitive uncertainties and risks, many of which are beyond our control. See “Item 3. Key Information — D. Risk Factors — Risks Relating to Our Business and Operations.” For detailed information regarding our operations and development projects, see “Item 4. Information on the Company — B. Business Overview.”

A. OPERATING RESULTS

Operations

Our primary business segments consist of:

City of Dreams

City of Dreams, as of December 31, 2017, operated approximately 475 gaming tables and approximately 670 gaming machines, and approximately 1,400 hotel rooms and suites, approximately 25 restaurants and bars, approximately 95 retail outlets, a wet stage performance theater, recreation and leisure facilities, including health and fitness clubs, three swimming pools, spas and salons and banquet and meeting facilities. A wet stage performance theater with approximately 2,000 seats features The House of Dancing

 

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Water produced by Franco Dragone. The Club Cubic nightclub features approximately 2,395 square meters (equivalent to approximately 25,780 square feet) of live entertainment space. City of Dreams targets premium market and rolling chip players from regional markets across Asia.

We are developing Morpheus, the third phase of City of Dreams.

For the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, net revenues generated from City of Dreams amounted to US$2,666.3 million, US$2,590.8 million and US$2,794.7 million, representing 50.5%, 57.3% and 70.3% of our total net revenues, respectively.

Altira Macau

Altira Macau, as of December 31, 2017, operated approximately 100 gaming tables and 119 gaming machines operated as a Mocha Club at Altira Macau, approximately 215 hotel rooms, several fine dining and casual restaurants and recreation and leisure facilities. Altira Macau is designed to provide a casino and hotel experience that caters to Asian rolling chip players sourced primarily through gaming promoters. For the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, net revenues generated from Altira Macau amounted to US$446.1 million, US$439.1 million and US$574.8 million, representing 8.4%, 9.7% and 14.5% of our total net revenues, respectively.

Studio City

On July 27, 2011, we acquired a 60% equity interest in SCI, the developer, owner and operator of Studio City. Studio City is a large-scale cinematically-themed integrated entertainment, retail and gaming resort located in Cotai, with gaming facilities, luxury hotel offerings and various entertainment, retail and food and beverage outlets to attract a diverse range of customers, with a current focus on the mass market segment and complemented with junket and premium direct VIP rolling chip operations in Asia and, in particular, from Greater China. Studio City opened its doors to customers in October 2015. As of December 31, 2017, Studio City operated approximately 290 gaming tables and 970 gaming machines. For the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, net revenues generated from Studio City amounted to US$1,363.4 million, US$838.2 million and US$125.3 million, representing 25.8%, 18.5% and 3.2% of our total net revenues, respectively.

Mocha Clubs

As of December 31, 2017, we operated eight Mocha Clubs with a total of 1,319 electronic gaming machines in operation (including 119 gaming machines at Altira Macau). Mocha Clubs focus primarily on general mass market players, including day-trip customers, outside the conventional casino setting. For the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, net revenues generated from Mocha Clubs amounted to US$121.3 million, US$120.5 million and US$136.2 million, representing 2.3%, 2.7% and 3.4% of our total net revenues, respectively. The source of revenues was substantially all from gaming machines. For the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, gaming machine revenues represented 97.3%, 97.4% and 98.2% of net revenues generated from Mocha Clubs, respectively.

Corporate and Other

Corporate and Other primarily includes Taipa Square Casino, a casino on Taipa Island, Macau, operating within Hotel Taipa Square, which we operate under a right-to-use agreement, and other corporate costs. For the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, net revenues generated from Corporate and Other amounted to US$38.5 million, US$39.5 million and US$43.4 million, representing 0.7%, 0.9% and 1.1% of our total net revenues, respectively.

 

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City of Dreams Manila

We completed the acquisition of a majority interest in the issued share capital of MRP on December 19, 2012 and completed the transfer of the entire interest of Melco Resorts Leisure, which is the developer and operator of our Philippines casino hotel resort project, “City of Dreams Manila,” to MRP in March 2013. City of Dreams Manila opened its doors to customers in December 2014, with a grand opening in the first quarter of 2015. As of December 31, 2017, City of Dreams Manila operated approximately 1,635 slot machines, 172 electronic gaming tables and 293 gaming tables. City of Dreams Manila also includes three branded hotel towers, several entertainment venues and features a wide selection of regional and international food and beverage offerings as well as extended retail shops. For the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, net revenues generated from City of Dreams Manila amounted to US$649.3 million, US$491.2 million and US$300.4 million, representing 12.3%, 10.9% and 7.6% of our total net revenues, respectively.

Summary of Financial Results

For the year ended December 31, 2017, our total net revenues were US$5.28 billion, an increase of 16.9% from US$4.52 billion of net revenues for the year ended December 31, 2016. Net income attributable to Melco Resorts & Entertainment Limited for the year ended December 31, 2017 was US$347.0 million, as compared to net income of US$175.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2016. Our improvement in profitability was primarily a result of the substantial improvements in operating performance, particularly from our gaming operations.

 

     Year Ended December 31,  
     2017      2016      2015  
     (in thousands of US$)  

Net revenues

   $ 5,284,823      $ 4,519,396      $ 3,974,800  

Total operating costs and expenses

     (4,677,211      (4,156,280      (3,876,385

Operating income

     607,612        363,116        98,415  

Net income attributable to Melco Resorts & Entertainment Limited

   $ 347,002      $ 175,906      $ 105,747  

Our results of operations and financial position for the years presented are not fully comparable for the following reasons:

 

    In June 2015, we completed an amendment to the 2011 Credit Facilities, known as the 2015 Credit Facilities, drew down the entire term loan facility under the 2015 Credit Facilities and repaid the entire outstanding balance of the 2011 Credit Facilities

 

    On October 27, 2015, Studio City commenced operations with its grand opening on the same date

 

    On November 18, 2015, we completed an amendment to the Studio City Project Facility

 

    On November 23, 2015, MRP completed the 2015 Private Placement

 

    In May 2016, we repurchased 155,000,000 ordinary shares (equivalent to 51,666,666 ADSs) from Crown Asia Investments for the aggregate purchase price of US$800.8 million, and such shares were subsequently cancelled by us

 

    On November 30, 2016 (December 1, 2016, Hong Kong time), we repaid the Studio City Project Facility (other than the HK$1.0 million rolled over into the term loan facility of the 2021 Studio City Senior Secured Credit Facility, which was entered into on November 23, 2016) as funded by the net proceeds from the offering of 2016 Studio City Notes issued by Studio City Company on November 30, 2016 and cash on hand

 

    In May 2017, we issued and sold 27,769,248 ADSs (equivalent to 83,307,744 ordinary shares) and 81,995,799 ordinary shares and also repurchased 165,303,544 ordinary shares from Crown Asia Investments for the aggregate purchase price of US$1.2 billion, and such repurchased shares were subsequently cancelled by us

 

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    On June 6, 2017, Melco Resorts Finance issued US$650.0 million in aggregate principal amount of the 2017 Senior Notes

 

    On June 14, 2017, together with the net proceeds from the issuance of US$650.0 million in aggregate principal amount of the 2017 Senior Notes along with the proceeds in the amount of US$350.0 million from a partial drawdown of the revolving credit facility under the 2015 Credit Facilities and cash on hand, Melco Resorts Finance redeemed all of our outstanding 2013 Senior Notes

 

    On July 3, 2017, Melco Resorts Finance issued US$350.0 million in aggregate principal amount of the 2017 Senior Notes, the net proceeds from which were used to repay in full the US$350.0 million drawdown from the revolving credit facility under the 2015 Credit Facilities

 

    On October 9, 2017, Melco Resorts Leisure partially redeemed the Philippine Notes in an aggregate principal amount of PHP7.5 billion, together with accrued interest

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

We use the following KPIs to evaluate our casino operations, including table games and gaming machines:

 

    Rolling chip volume: the amount of non-negotiable chips wagered and lost by the rolling chip market segment.

 

    Rolling chip win rate: rolling chip table games win (calculated before discounts and commissions) as a percentage of rolling chip volume.

 

    Mass market table games drop: the amount of table games drop in the mass market table games segment.

 

    Mass market table games hold percentage: mass market table games win as a percentage of mass market table games drop.

 

    Table games win: the amount of wagers won net of wagers lost on gaming tables that is retained and recorded as casino revenues.

 

    Gaming machine handle: the total amount wagered in gaming machines.

 

    Gaming machine win rate: gaming machine win expressed as a percentage of gaming machine handle.

In the rolling chip market segment, customers purchase identifiable chips known as non-negotiable chips, or rolling chips, from the casino cage, and there is no deposit into a gaming table’s drop box for rolling chips purchased from the cage. Rolling chip volume and mass market table games drop are not equivalent. Rolling chip volume is a measure of amounts wagered and lost. Mass market table games drop measures buy in. Rolling chip volume is generally substantially higher than mass market table games drop. As these volumes are the denominator used in calculating win rate or hold percentage, with the same use of gaming win as the numerator, the win rate is generally lower in the rolling chip market segment than the hold percentage in the mass market table games segment.

Our combined expected rolling chip win rate (calculated before discounts and commissions) across our properties is in the range of 2.7% to 3.0%.

We use the following KPIs to evaluate our hotel operations:

 

    Average daily rate: calculated by dividing total room revenues including the retail value of complimentary rooms (less service charges, if any) by total rooms occupied, including complimentary rooms, i.e., average price of occupied rooms per day.

 

    Occupancy rate: the average percentage of available hotel rooms occupied, including complimentary rooms, during a period.

 

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    Revenue per available room, or REVPAR: calculated by dividing total room revenues including the retail value of complimentary rooms (less service charges, if any) by total rooms available, thereby representing a combination of hotel average daily room rates and occupancy.

Complimentary rooms are included in the calculation of the above room-related KPIs. The average daily rate of complimentary rooms is typically lower than the average daily rate for cash rooms. The occupancy rate and REVPAR would be lower if complimentary rooms were excluded from the calculation. As not all available rooms are occupied, average daily room rates are normally higher than revenue per available room.

Year Ended December 31, 2017 Compared to Year Ended December 31, 2016

Revenues

Our total net revenues for the year ended December 31, 2017 were US$5.28 billion, an increase of US$0.77 billion, or 16.9%, from US$4.52 billion for the year ended December 31, 2016. The increase in total net revenues was primarily attributable to better group-wide performance in all gaming segments, especially the performance in the rolling chip segment including the fully-operating rolling chip operations in Studio City for the year ended December 31, 2017.

Our total net revenues for the year ended December 31, 2017 consisted of US$4.94 billion of casino revenues, representing 93.4% of our total net revenues, and US$347.2 million of net non-casino revenues (total non-casino revenues after deduction of promotional allowances). Our total net revenues for the year ended December 31, 2016 consisted of US$4.18 billion of casino revenues, representing 92.4% of our total net revenues, and US$342.7 million of net non-casino revenues.

Casino. Casino revenues for the year ended December 31, 2017 were US$4.94 billion, representing a US$0.76 billion, or 18.2%, increase from casino revenues of US$4.18 billion for the year ended December 31, 2016, due to an increase in casino revenues at all of our properties, especially Studio City and City of Dreams Manila. The casino revenue at Studio City increased by US$547.7 million primarily due to enhanced performance in mass market table games segment as a result of the continuous ramp-up of Studio City since its commencement of operations in October 2015 and the launch of rolling chip operations in November 2016. The casino revenue at City of Dreams Manila increased by US$157.1 million due to its better performance in all gaming segments for the year ended December 31, 2017 as compared to the previous year.

Altira Macau. Altira Macau’s rolling chip volume for the year ended December 31, 2017 was US$17.2 billion, representing a decrease of US$0.4 billion, or 2.5%, from US$17.7 billion for the year ended December 31, 2016. The rolling chip win rate (calculated before discounts and commissions) was 3.06% for the year ended December 31, 2017, and increased from 2.85% for the year ended December 31, 2016. Our expected range was 2.7% to 3.0%. In the mass market table games segment, drop was US$429.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2017, representing a decrease of 13.3% from US$494.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2016. The mass market table games hold percentage was 17.5% for the year ended December 31, 2017, decreasing from 18.6% for the year ended December 31, 2016. Average net win per gaming machine per day was US$106 for the year ended December 31, 2017, an increase of US$13, or 14.1%, from US$93 for the year ended December 31, 2016.

City of Dreams. City of Dreams’ rolling chip volume for the year ended December 31, 2017 of US$47.4 billion represented an increase of US$6.0 billion, or 14.4%, from US$41.5 billion for the year ended December 31, 2016. The rolling chip win rate (calculated before discounts and commissions) was 2.97% for the year ended December 31, 2017 and was in line with our expected range of 2.7% to 3.0%, and increased from 2.83% for the year ended December 31, 2016. In the mass market table games segment, drop was US$4.50 billion for the year ended December 31, 2017 which represented an increase of US$0.20 billion, or 4.6%, from US$4.31 billion for the year ended December 31, 2016. The mass market table games hold

 

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percentage was 32.4% for the year ended December 31, 2017, decreasing from 35.8% for the year ended December 31, 2016. Average net win per gaming machine per day was US$557 for the year ended December 31, 2017, an increase of US$176, or 46.2%, from US$381 for the year ended December 31, 2016.

Mocha Clubs. Mocha Clubs’ average net win per gaming machine per day for the year ended December 31, 2017 was US$272, an increase of US$15, or 5.6%, from US$257 for the year ended December 31, 2016.

Studio City. Studio City began rolling chip operations in November 2016. Rolling chip volume was US$19.0 billion for the year ended December 31, 2017, and increased from US$1.3 billion for the year ended December 31, 2016. The rolling chip win rate (calculated before discounts and commissions) was 3.16% for the year ended December 31, 2017, and increased from 1.39% for the year ended December 31, 2016. Our expected range was 2.7% to 3.0%. In the mass market table games segment, drop was US$2.91 billion for the year ended December 31, 2017, and increased from US$2.48 billion for the year ended December 31, 2016. The mass market table games hold percentage was 26.1% for the year ended December 31, 2017, demonstrating an increase from 24.7% for the year ended December 31, 2016. Average net win per gaming machine per day was US$225 for the year ended December 31, 2017, an increase of US$36, or 18.9%, from US$189 for the year ended December 31, 2016.

City of Dreams Manila. City of Dreams Manila’s rolling chip volume for the year ended December 31, 2017 was US$11.5 billion, representing an increase of US$4.7 billion, or 68.4%, from US$6.8 billion for the year ended December 31, 2016. The rolling chip win rate (calculated before discounts and commissions) was 3.10% for the year ended December 31, 2017, and decreased from 3.43% for the year ended December 31, 2016. Our expected range was 2.7% to 3.0%. In the mass market table games segment, drop was US$686.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2017, representing an increase of US$136.4 million, or 24.8%, from US$550.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2016. The mass market table games hold percentage was 29.6% for the year ended December 31, 2017, demonstrating an increase from 28.0% for the year ended December 31, 2016. Average net win per gaming machine per day was US$271 for the year ended December 31, 2017, an increase of US$54, or 24.8%, from US$217 for the year ended December 31, 2016.

Rooms. Room revenues (including the retail value of promotional allowances) for the year ended December 31, 2017 were US$271.5 million, representing a US$6.2 million, or 2.3%, increase from room revenues (including the retail value of promotional allowances) of US$265.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2016. The increase was primarily due to the increase in occupancy rate and average daily rate at City of Dreams and Studio City as well as the improved occupancy at City of Dreams Manila.

The average daily rate, occupancy rate and REVPAR of each property are as follows:

 

     Year Ended December 31,  
     2017      2016      2017     2016     2017      2016  
     Average daily rate (US$)      Occupancy rate     REVPAR (US$)  

Altira Macau

     204        205        96     94     196        193  

City of Dreams

     202        200        97     96     196        192  

Studio City

     140        136        99     98     138        133  

City of Dreams Manila

     158        159        96     91     152        145  

Food, beverage and others. Food, beverage and other revenues (including the retail value of promotional allowances) for the year ended December 31, 2017 included food and beverage revenues of US$185.0 million and entertainment, retail and other revenues of US$203.8 million. Food, beverage and other revenues (including the retail value of promotional allowances) for the year ended December 31, 2016 included food and beverage revenues of US$177.5 million and entertainment, retail and other revenues of US$197.0 million. The increase of US$14.2 million in food, beverage and other revenues from the year ended

 

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December 31, 2016 to the year ended December 31, 2017 was primarily due to higher rental income at City of Dreams as a result of the opening of the new retail precinct in phases between June and December 2016, higher food and beverage revenue at City of Dreams and City of Dreams Manila driven by higher business volumes associated with an increase in visitation during the year, partially offset by decreased entertainment, retail and other revenues at Studio City since we generated more revenues from ticket sales in 2016 for more events held including the live concerts from headline acts.

Operating costs and expenses

Total operating costs and expenses were US$4.68 billion for the year ended December 31, 2017, representing an increase of US$0.5 billion, or 12.5%, from US$4.16 billion for the year ended December 31, 2016. The increase in operating costs was primarily due to the increase in operating costs at Studio City and City of Dreams Manila, which was in-line with the increase in gaming volumes and associated higher revenues, as well as higher development costs and property charges and other in 2017.

Casino. Casino expenses increased by US$0.47 billion, or 16.1%, to US$3.37 billion for the year ended December 31, 2017 from US$2.90 billion for the year ended December 31, 2016 primarily due to increase in gaming tax, other levies and commissions expenses at Studio City and City of Dreams Manila, which increased as a result of increased gaming volumes and associated higher revenues, partially offset by the recovery of previously provided doubtful debt in City of Dreams and Altira Macau.

Rooms. Room expenses, which represent the costs of operating the hotel facilities, remained stable at US$32.6 million and US$33.2 million for the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016.

Food, beverage and others. Food, beverage and other expenses were US$146.2 million and US$175.6 million for the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016, respectively. The decrease was primarily due to decrease in performers’ fees as we held fewer events at Studio City in 2017 and lower payroll expenses.

General and administrative. General and administrative expenses increased by US$20.5 million, or 4.6%, to US$467.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2017 from US$446.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2016, primarily due to the US$8.1 million one-off net gain on disposal of property and equipment to Belle Corporation in 2016, and an increase in payroll expenses, professional fees and other general and administrative expenses to support continuing and expanding operations in 2017.

Payments to the Philippine Parties. Payments to the Philippine Parties increased to US$51.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2017 from US$34.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2016, due to the improvement in gaming operations and resulting increase in revenues from gaming operations in City of Dreams Manila.

Pre-opening costs.  Pre-opening costs were US$2.3 million and US$3.9 million for the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016, respectively. Such costs relate primarily to personnel training, rental, marketing, advertising and administrative costs in connection with new or start-up operations.

Development costs. Development costs were US$31.1 million and US$0.1 million for the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016, respectively, which predominantly related to marketing and promotion costs as well as professional and consultancy fees for corporate business development.

Amortization of gaming subconcession. Amortization of our gaming subconcession continued to be recognized on a straight-line basis at an annual rate of US$57.2 million for each of the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016.

Amortization of land use rights. Amortization of land use rights expenses continued to be recognized on a straight-line basis at an annual rate of US$22.8 million for each of the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016.

 

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Depreciation and amortization. Depreciation and amortization expenses decreased by US$11.7 million, or 2.5%, to US$460.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2017 from US$472.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2016.

Property charges and other. Property charges and other for the year ended December 31, 2017 were US$31.6 million, which primarily included the asset write-offs and impairments of US$30.9 million as a result of the remodel of gaming and non-gaming attractions as well as retail and food and beverage outlets at our properties, US$3.8 million Typhoon Hato donation, US$3.7 million license termination fee and consulting fee as a result of the rebranding of our hotel properties at City of Dreams, US$3.1 million termination costs as a result of departmental restructuring, partially offset by the net gain of US$10.3 million from the insurance recovery on property damage and other costs incurred for our Macau properties as a result of Typhoon Hato. Property charges and other for the year ended December 31, 2016 were US$5.3 million, which primarily included the asset write-offs and impairments of US$3.2 million as a result of the remodel of non-gaming attractions at City of Dreams, US$2.1 million termination costs as a result of departmental restructuring and US$1.7 million legal and professional fees for assisting in evaluating the capital structure of Studio City, partially offset by US$2.0 million insurance recovery on furniture, fixtures and equipment damaged by the typhoon in the Philippines.

Non-operating expenses, net

Net non-operating expenses consist of interest income, interest expenses, net of capitalized interest, amortization of deferred financing costs, loan commitment and other finance fees, foreign exchange gains (losses), net, loss on extinguishment of debt and costs associated with debt modification, as well as other non-operating income, net.

Interest income was US$3.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2017, as compared to US$6.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2016. The decrease was primarily due to lower level of deposits placed at banks during the year ended December 31, 2017.

Interest expenses were US$229.6 million (net of capitalized interest of US$37.5 million) for the year ended December 31, 2017, compared to US$223.6 million (net of capitalized interest of US$29.0 million) for the year ended December 31, 2016. The increase in interest expenses (net of interest capitalization) of US$6.0 million was primarily due to higher interest expenses arisen from the higher borrowing rate as a result of the refinancing of the Studio City Project Facility with 2016 Studio City Notes and 2021 Studio City Senior Secured Credit Facility in November 2016, partially offset with higher interest capitalization of US$8.5 million primarily for the development of Morpheus.

Other finance costs for the year ended December 31, 2017 amounted to US$32.3 million and included US$26.2 million of amortization of deferred financing costs and US$6.1 million of loan commitment and other finance fees. Other finance costs for the year ended December 31, 2016 amounted to US$55.8 million and included US$48.3 million of amortization of deferred financing costs and US$7.5 million of loan commitment and other finance fees. The decrease in amortization of deferred financing costs compared to the year ended December 31, 2016 was primarily due to no amortization of deferred financing costs for the Studio City Project Facility after its refinancing in November 2016. The deferred financing costs related to the 2016 Studio City Notes and 2021 Studio City Senior Secured Credit Facility were lower compared to the deferred financing costs for the Studio City Project Facility.

Loss on extinguishment of debt for the year ended December 31, 2017 was US$49.3 million, represented a portion of the unamortized deferred financing costs and redemption costs of the 2013 Senior Notes that were not eligible for capitalization as a result of refinancing and the write-off of unamortized deferred financing costs as a result of partial redemption of the Philippine Notes. Loss on extinguishment of debt for the year ended December 31, 2016 was US$17.4 million, represented break costs and a portion of the unamortized deferred financing costs of the Studio City Project Facility that were not eligible for capitalization.

 

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Costs associated with debt modification for the year ended December 31, 2017 were US$2.8 million, which represented a portion of underwriting fee, legal and professional fees incurred for refinancing of the 2013 Senior Notes that were not eligible for capitalization. Costs associated with debt modification for the year ended December 31, 2016 were US$8.1 million, which represented a portion of underwriting fee, legal and professional fees incurred for refinancing of the Studio City Project Facility that were not eligible for capitalization.

Income tax credit (expense)

Income tax credit for the year ended December 31, 2017 was primarily attributable to over provision of Macau Complementary Tax in prior years of US$2.6 million and a net deferred tax credit of US$2.3 million, partially offset by Hong Kong Profits Tax of US$2.5 million and a lump sum tax payable of US$2.4 million in lieu of Macau Complementary Tax otherwise due by Melco Resorts Macau’s shareholders on dividends distributable to them by Melco Resorts Macau. The effective tax rate for the year ended December 31, 2017 was 0%, as compared to 10.9% for the year ended December 31, 2016. Such rates differ from the statutory Macau Complementary Tax rate of 12% primarily due to the effect of profits generated by gaming operations exempted from Macau Complementary Tax and Philippine Corporate Income Tax, the effect of changes in valuation allowances, the effect of expenses for which no income tax benefits are receivable, the effect of income for which no income tax expense is payable and the effect of different tax rates of subsidiaries operating in other jurisdictions for the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016. Our management currently does not expect to realize significant income tax benefits associated with net operating loss carryforwards and other deferred tax assets generated by our Macau and Philippines operations. However, to the extent that the financial results of our Macau and Philippines operations improve and it becomes more likely than not that the deferred tax assets are realizable, we will be able to reduce the valuation allowance related to the net operating losses and other deferred tax assets.

Net loss attributable to noncontrolling interests

Our net loss attributable to noncontrolling interests of US$31.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2017, compared to that of US$109.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2016, represented the share of the Studio City’s expenses of US$33.4 million and City of Dreams Manila’s income of US$1.7 million, respectively, by the respective minority shareholders for the year ended December 31, 2017. The year-on-year decrease was primarily attributable to the share of net revenues generated by Studio City and City of Dreams Manila, partially offset by the respective increase in the share of operating costs during the year ended December 31, 2017.

Net income attributable to Melco Resorts & Entertainment Limited

As a result of the foregoing, we had net income of US$347.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2017, compared to US$175.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2016.

Year Ended December 31, 2016 Compared to Year Ended December 31, 2015

Revenues

Our total net revenues for the year ended December 31, 2016 were US$4.52 billion, an increase of US$0.54 billion, or 13.7%, from US$3.97 billion for the year ended December 31, 2015. The increase in total net revenues was primarily attributable to the net revenues generated by a fully-operating Studio City, which commenced operations in October 2015, and the increase in net revenues generated by City of Dreams Manila, which had a better performance in both gaming and non-gaming segments in the year ended December 31, 2016 compared to the previous year, partially offset by lower casino revenues at City of Dreams and Altira Macau primarily driven by deteriorating demand from Chinese players as well as restrictive policies.

Our total net revenues for the year ended December 31, 2016 consisted of US$4.18 billion of casino revenues, representing 92.4% of our total net revenues, and US$342.7 million of net non-casino revenues (total

 

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non-casino revenues after deduction of promotional allowances). Our total net revenues for the year ended December 31, 2015 comprised US$3.77 billion of casino revenues, representing 94.8% of our total net revenues, and US$207.5 million of net non-casino revenues.

Casino. Casino revenues for the year ended December 31, 2016 were US$4.18 billion, representing a US$0.41 billion, or 10.9%, increase from casino revenues of US$3.77 billion for the year ended December 31, 2015, primarily due to an increase in casino revenue at a fully-operating Studio City of US$599.8 million, which commenced operations on October 27, 2015 and began rolling chip operations in November 2016, and at City of Dreams Manila of US$186.1 million, which commenced junket operations in mid-2015, partially offset by a decrease in casino revenues at City of Dreams and Altira Macau of US$223.1 million, or 8.3%, and US$133.9 million, or 23.8%, respectively.

Altira Macau. Altira Macau’s rolling chip volume for the year ended December 31, 2016 was US$17.7 billion, representing a decrease of US$6.1 billion, or 25.8%, from US$23.8 billion for the year ended December 31, 2015. The rolling chip win rate (calculated before discounts and commissions) was 2.85% for the year ended December 31, 2016 and was within our expected level of 2.7% to 3.0%, and increased slightly from 2.83% for the year ended December 31, 2015. In the mass market table games segment, drop was US$494.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2016, representing a decrease of 19.7% from US$616.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2015. The mass market table games hold percentage was 18.6% for the year ended December 31, 2016, demonstrating an increase from 17.9% for the year ended December 31, 2015. Average net win per gaming machine per day was US$93 and US$98 for the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015, respectively.

City of Dreams. City of Dreams’ rolling chip volume for the year ended December 31, 2016 of US$41.5 billion represented a decrease of US$2.6 billion, or 5.8%, from US$44.0 billion for the year ended December 31, 2015. The rolling chip win rate (calculated before discounts and commissions) was 2.83% for the year ended December 31, 2016 and was in line with our expected range of 2.7% to 3.0%, but decreased from 2.91% for the year ended December 31, 2015. In the mass market table games segment, drop was US$4.31 billion for the year ended December 31, 2016 which represented a decrease of US$0.41 billion, or 8.6%, from US$4.71 billion for the year ended December 31, 2015. The mass market table games hold percentage was 35.8% for the year ended December 31, 2016, demonstrating an increase from 35.1% for the year ended December 31, 2015. Average net win per gaming machine per day was US$381 and US$404 for the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015, respectively.

Mocha Clubs. Mocha Clubs’ average net win per gaming machine per day for the year ended December 31, 2016 was US$257, a decrease of US$46, or 15.2%, from US$303 for the year ended December 31, 2015.

Studio City. Studio City commenced operations on October 27, 2015 and began rolling chip operations in November 2016. Rolling chip volume was US$1.3 billion and the rolling chip win rate (calculated before discounts and commissions) was 1.39% for the year ended December 31, 2016. In the mass market table games segment, drop was US$2,480.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2016, and increased from US$365.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2015. The mass market table games hold percentage was 24.7% for the year ended December 31, 2016, demonstrating an increase from 22.4% for the year ended December 31, 2015. Average net win per gaming machine per day was US$189 for the year ended December 31, 2016, an increase of US$21, or 12.8%, from US$168 for the year ended December 31, 2015.

City of Dreams Manila. City of Dreams Manila’s rolling chip volume for the year ended December 31, 2016 was US$6.8 billion, representing an increase of US$3.6 billion, or 110.1%, from US$3.3 billion for the year ended December 31, 2015. The rolling chip win rate (calculated before discounts and commissions) was 3.43% for the year ended December 31, 2016, and increased from 2.30% for the year ended December 31, 2015. In the mass market table games segment, drop was US$550.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2016,

 

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representing an increase of US$109.2 million, or 24.7%, from US$441.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2015. The mass market table games hold percentage was 28.0% for the year ended December 31, 2016, demonstrating an increase from 26.3% for the year ended December 31, 2015. Average net win per gaming machine per day was US$217 for the year ended December 31, 2016, an increase of US$46, or 27.2%, from US$170 for the year ended December 31, 2015.

Rooms. Room revenues (including the retail value of promotional allowances) for the year ended December 31, 2016 were US$265.3 million, representing a US$65.6 million, or 32.8%, increase from room revenues (including the retail value of promotional allowances) of US$199.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2015. The increase was primarily due to the room revenues from a full year operation of Studio City, which consists of Celebrity Tower and the all-suite Star Tower, which offers approximately 1,600 guest rooms in total. The increase was offset in part by the decrease in room revenues at City of Dreams and Altira Macau due to the declined occupancy rate and decrease in average daily rate.

The average daily rate, occupancy rate and REVPAR of each property are as follows:

 

     Year Ended December 31,  
     2016      2015      2016     2015     2016      2015  
     Average daily rate (US$)      Occupancy rate     REVPAR (US$)  

Altira Macau

     205        212        94     98     193        209  

City of Dreams

     200        201        96     99     192        198  

Studio City

     136        136        98     98     133        133  

City of Dreams Manila

     159        191        91     86     145        164  

Food, beverage and others. Food, beverage and other revenues (including the retail value of promotional allowances) for the year ended December 31, 2016 included food and beverage revenues of US$177.5 million and entertainment, retail and other revenues of US$197.0 million. Food, beverage and other revenues (including the retail value of promotional allowances) for the year ended December 31, 2015 included food and beverage revenues of US$126.8 million and entertainment, retail and other revenues of US$117.5 million. The increase of US$130.1 million in food, beverage and other revenues from the year ended December 31, 2015 to the year ended December 31, 2016 was primarily due to the first full year operation of Studio City in 2016 with its attractions including Golden Reel, Batman Dark Flight and The House of Magic, concerts held in the Studio City Event Center as well as its food and beverage outlets, together with the increased entertainment, retail and other revenues at City of Dreams mainly driven by the opening of the new retail precinct in 2016.

Operating costs and expenses

Total operating costs and expenses were US$4.16 billion for the year ended December 31, 2016, representing an increase of US$279.9 million, or 7.2%, from US$3.88 billion for the year ended December 31, 2015. The increase in operating costs was primarily due to the first full year operation of Studio City in 2016 and improved performance of City of Dreams Manila, partially offset by a decrease in operating costs at City of Dreams and Altira Macau, which was in-line with the decline in gaming volumes and associated lower revenues.

Casino. Casino expenses increased by US$250.2 million, or 9.4%, to US$2.90 billion for the year ended December 31, 2016 from US$2.65 billion for the year ended December 31, 2015 primarily due to the casino expenses at a fully-operating Studio City, increase in casino expenses at City of Dreams Manila, which had a better performance in all gaming segments in the year ended December 31, 2016 compared to the previous year, and higher provision for doubtful debt in City of Dreams and Altira Macau. The increase was offset in part by the decrease in gaming tax, payroll and other levies and commission expenses at City of Dreams and Altria Macau, which decreased as a result of decreased gaming volumes and associated lower revenues.

 

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Rooms. Room expenses, which represent the costs of operating the hotel facilities were US$33.2 million and US$23.4 million for the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015, respectively. The increase was primarily due to the first full year hotel operations in Studio City in 2016.

Food, beverage and others. Food, beverage and other expenses were US$175.6 million and US$120.8 million for the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015, respectively. The increase was primarily due to payroll, performers’ fees and other operating costs associated with the full year operation of Studio City.

General and administrative. General and administrative expenses increased by US$62.7 million, or 16.3%, to US$446.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2016 from US$383.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2015, primarily due to the general and administrative expenses for the full year operation of Studio City, partially offset by the decrease in general and administrative expenses in other properties as a result of our continuous efforts and measures implemented to control costs.

Payments to the Philippine Parties. Payments to the Philippine Parties increased to US$34.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2016 from US$16.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2015, due to the improvement in gaming operations and resulting increase in revenues from gaming operations in City of Dreams Manila.

Pre-opening costs.  Pre-opening costs were US$3.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2016 as compared to US$168.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2015. Such costs relate primarily to personnel training, rental, marketing, advertising and administrative costs in connection with new or start-up operations. The pre-opening costs were higher in the year ended December 31, 2015 mainly due to the commencement of operations of Studio City in October 2015 and the grand opening of City of Dreams Manila in February 2015.

Amortization of gaming subconcession. Amortization of our gaming subconcession continued to be recognized on a straight-line basis at an annual rate of US$57.2 million for each of the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015.

Amortization of land use rights. Amortization of land use rights expenses were US$22.8 million and US$54.1 million for the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015, respectively. The decrease was primarily due to the extension of the estimated terms of the land use rights in Macau which went into effect in October 2015.

Depreciation and amortization. Depreciation and amortization expenses were US$472.2 million and US$359.3 million for the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015, respectively. The increase was primarily due to the full year depreciation of assets at Studio City, partially offset by a decrease in depreciation resulting from the extension of the estimated useful lives of building structures of Altira Macau and City of Dreams which went into effect in October 2015.

Property charges and other. Property charges and other for the year ended December 31, 2016 were US$5.3 million, which primarily included the asset write-offs and impairments of US$3.2 million as a result of the remodel of non-gaming attractions at City of Dreams, US$2.1 million termination costs as a result of departmental restructuring and US$1.7 million legal and professional fees for assisting in evaluating the capital structure of Studio City, partially offset by US$2.0 million insurance recovery on furniture, fixtures and equipment damaged by the typhoon in the Philippines. Property charges and other for the year ended December 31, 2015 were US$38.1 million, which primarily included US$30.3 million provision for input value-added tax primarily pertaining to certain construction of City of Dreams Manila, which is expected to be non-recoverable and US$5.5 million termination costs as a result of departmental restructuring.

Non-operating expenses, net

Net non-operating expenses consist of interest income, interest expenses, net of capitalized interest, amortization of deferred financing costs, loan commitment and other finance fees, foreign exchange gains

 

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(losses), net, loss on extinguishment of debt and costs associated with debt modification, as well as other non-operating income, net.

Interest income was US$6.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2016, as compared to US$13.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2015. The decrease was primarily due to lower level of deposits placed at banks during the year ended December 31, 2016.

Interest expenses were US$223.6 million (net of capitalized interest of US$29.0 million) for the year ended December 31, 2016, compared to US$118.3 million (net of capitalized interest of US$134.8 million) for the year ended December 31, 2015. The increase in interest expenses (net of interest capitalization) of US$105.2 million was primarily due to lower interest capitalization of US$105.8 million primarily associated with the cessation of interest capitalization for Studio City since its opening in October 2015.

Other finance costs for the year ended December 31, 2016 amounted to US$55.8 million and included US$48.3 million of amortization of deferred financing costs (nil capitalization) and US$7.5 million of loan commitment and other finance fees. Other finance costs for the year ended December 31, 2015 amounted to US$45.8 million and included US$38.5 million of amortization of deferred financing costs (net of capitalization of US$5.5 million) and US$7.3 million of loan commitment and other finance fees. The increase in amortization of deferred financing costs compared to the year ended December 31, 2015 was primarily due to the cessation of capitalization of amortization of deferred financing costs associated with the opening of Studio City in October 2015 and the increase in amortization of deferred financing costs arising from the refinancing of the 2011 Credit Facilities with the 2015 Credit Facilities in late June 2015.

Loss on extinguishment of debt for the year ended December 31, 2016 was US$17.4 million, represented break costs and a portion of the unamortized deferred financing costs of the Studio City Project Facility that were not eligible for capitalization. Loss on extinguishment of debt for the year ended December 31, 2015 was US$0.5 million, which represented the unamortized deferred financing costs of the 2011 Credit Facilities that were not eligible for capitalization.

Costs associated with debt modification for the year ended December 31, 2016 were US$8.1 million, represented a portion of underwriting fee, legal and professional fees incurred for refinancing of the Studio City Project Facility that were not eligible for capitalization. Costs associated with debt modification for the year ended December 31, 2015 were US$7.6 million, represented legal and professional fees incurred for the loan documentation amendment of the Studio City Project Facility and refinancing of the 2011 Credit Facilities that were not eligible for capitalization.

Income tax expense

Income tax expense for the year ended December 31, 2016 was primarily attributable to a lump sum tax payable of US$2.8 million in lieu of Macau Complementary Tax otherwise due by Melco Resorts Macau’s shareholders on dividends distributable to them by Melco Resorts Macau, Macau Complementary Tax of US$2.8 million, Hong Kong Profits Tax of US$1.9 million and a net deferred tax charge of US$0.8 million. The effective tax rate for the year ended December 31, 2016 was 10.9%, as compared to a credit rate of (1.7%) for the year ended December 31, 2015. Such rates differ from the statutory Macau Complementary Tax rate of 12% primarily due to the effect of profits generated by gaming operations exempted from Macau Complementary Tax and Philippine Corporate Income Tax, the effect of changes in valuation allowances, the effect of expenses for which no income tax benefits are receivable and the effect of different tax rates of subsidiaries operating in other jurisdictions for the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015. Our management currently does not expect to realize significant income tax benefits associated with net operating loss carryforwards and other deferred tax assets generated by our Macau and Philippines operations. However, to the extent that the financial results of our Macau and Philippines operations improve and it becomes more likely than not that the deferred tax assets are realizable, we will be able to reduce the valuation allowance related to the net operating losses and other deferred tax assets.

 

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Net loss attributable to noncontrolling interests

Our net loss attributable to noncontrolling interests of US$109.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2016, compared to that of US$166.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2015, represented the share of the Studio City’s expenses of US$100.0 million and City of Dreams Manila’s expenses of US$9.0 million, respectively, by the respective minority shareholders for the year ended December 31, 2016. The year-on-year decrease was primarily attributable to the share of net revenues generated by Studio City and City of Dreams Manila and the decrease in noncontrolling interests’ share of pre-opening costs, partially offset by the increase in the share, respectively, of Studio City’s operating costs and financing costs and City of Dreams Manila’s operating costs during the year ended December 31, 2016.

Net income attributable to Melco Resorts & Entertainment Limited

As a result of the foregoing, we had net income of US$175.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2016, compared to US$105.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2015.

Adjusted Property EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA

Our earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, pre-opening costs, development costs, property charges and other, share-based compensation, payments to the Philippine Parties, land rent to Belle Corporation, net gain on disposal of property and equipment to Belle Corporation, Corporate and Other expenses and other non-operating income and expenses, or Adjusted property EBITDA, were US$1,422.8 million, US$1,087.5 million and US$932.0 million for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively. Adjusted property EBITDA of Altira Macau, City of Dreams, Mocha Clubs and City of Dreams Manila were US$20.7 million, US$804.9 million, US$26.6 million and US$235.0 million, respectively, for the year ended December 31, 2017, US$5.1 million, US$742.3 million, US$23.8 million and US$160.3 million, respectively, for the year ended December 31, 2016 and US$36.3 million, US$798.5 million, US$30.3 million and US$55.4 million, respectively, for the year ended December 31, 2015. Studio City commenced operations on October 27, 2015 and recorded Adjusted property EBITDA of US$335.6 million, US$156.0 million and US$11.6 million for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively.

Our earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, pre-opening costs, development costs, property charges and other, share-based compensation, payments to the Philippine Parties, land rent to Belle Corporation, net gain on disposal of property and equipment to Belle Corporation and other non-operating income and expenses, or Adjusted EBITDA, were US$1,285.3 million, US$972.7 million and US$816.2 million for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively.

Our management uses Adjusted property EBITDA to measure the operating performance of our Altira Macau, City of Dreams, Studio City, City of Dreams Manila and Mocha Clubs businesses, and to compare the operating performance of our properties with those of our competitors. Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted property EBITDA are also presented as supplemental disclosures because management believes they are widely used to measure performance and as a basis for valuation of gaming companies. Our management also uses Adjusted property EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA because they are used by some investors as a way to measure a company’s ability to incur and service debt, make capital expenditures and meet working capital requirements. Gaming companies have historically reported similar measures as a supplement to financial measures in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, in particular, U.S. GAAP or International Financial Reporting Standards.

However, Adjusted property EBITDA or Adjusted EBITDA should not be considered in isolation, construed as an alternative to profit or operating profit, treated as an indicator of our U.S. GAAP operating performance, other operating operations or cash flow data, or interpreted as an alternative to cash flow as a measure of liquidity. Adjusted property EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA presented in this annual report may not

 

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be comparable to other similarly titled measures of other companies’ operating in the gaming or other business sectors. While our management believes these figures may provide useful additional information to investors when considered in conjunction with our U.S. GAAP financial statements and other information in this annual report, less reliance should be placed on Adjusted property EBITDA or Adjusted EBITDA as a measure in assessing our overall financial performance.

Reconciliation of Net Income Attributable to Melco Resorts & Entertainment Limited to Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted Property EBITDA

 

     Year Ended December 31,  
     2017      2016      2015  
     (in thousands of US$)  

Net income attributable to Melco Resorts & Entertainment Limited

   $ 347,002      $ 175,906      $ 105,747  

Net loss attributable to noncontrolling interests

     (31,709      (108,988      (166,555
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Net income (loss)

     315,293        66,918        (60,808

Income tax (credit) expense

     (10      8,178        1,031  

Interest and other non-operating expenses, net

     292,329        288,020        158,192  

Property charges and other

     31,616        5,298        38,068  

Share-based compensation

     17,305        18,487        20,827  

Depreciation and amortization

     540,575        552,272        470,634  

Development costs

     31,115        95        110  

Pre-opening costs

     2,274        3,883        168,172  

Net gain on disposal of property and equipment to Belle Corporation

            (8,134       

Land rent to Belle Corporation

     3,143        3,327        3,476  

Payments to the Philippine Parties

     51,661        34,403        16,547  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Adjusted EBITDA

     1,285,301        972,747        816,249  

Corporate and Other expenses

     137,468        114,770        115,735  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Adjusted property EBITDA

   $ 1,422,769      $ 1,087,517      $ 931,984  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates

Management’s discussion and analysis of our results of operations and liquidity and capital resources are based on our consolidated financial statements. Our consolidated financial statements were prepared in conformity with U.S. GAAP. Certain of our accounting policies require that management apply significant judgment in defining the appropriate assumptions integral to financial estimates. On an ongoing basis, management evaluates those estimates and judgments are made based on information obtained from our historical experience, terms of existing contracts, industry trends and outside sources, that are currently available to us, and on various other assumptions that management believes to be reasonable and appropriate in the circumstances. However, by their nature, judgments are subject to an inherent degree of uncertainty, and therefore actual results could differ from our estimates. We believe that the critical accounting policies discussed below affect our more significant judgments and estimates used in the preparation of our consolidated financial statements.

Property and Equipment and Other Long-lived Assets

During the development and construction stage of our casino gaming and entertainment casino resort facilities, direct and incremental costs related to the design and construction, including costs under the construction contracts, duties and tariffs, equipment installation, shipping costs, payroll and payroll benefit

 

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related costs, applicable portions of interest and amortization of deferred financing costs, are capitalized in property and equipment. The capitalization of such costs begins when the construction and development of a project starts and ceases once the construction is substantially completed or development activity is suspended for more than a brief period. Pre-opening costs, consisting of marketing and other expenses related to our new or start-up operations are expensed as incurred.

Depreciation and amortization expense related to capitalized construction costs and other property and equipment is recognized from the time each asset is placed in service. This may occur at different stages as casino gaming and entertainment casino resort facilities are completed and opened.

Property and equipment and other long-lived assets with a finite useful life are depreciated and amortized on a straight-line basis over the asset’s estimated useful life. The estimated useful lives are based on factors including the nature of the assets, its relationship to other assets, our operating plans and anticipated use and other economic and legal factors that impose limits. The remaining estimated useful lives of the property and equipment are periodically reviewed. For the review of estimated useful lives of buildings of Altira Macau and City of Dreams, we considered factors such as the business and operating environment of the gaming industry in Macau, laws and regulations in Macau and our anticipated usage of the buildings. As a result, effective from October 1, 2015, the estimated useful lives of certain buildings assets of Altira Macau and City of Dreams have been extended in order to reflect the estimated periods during which the buildings are expected to remain in service. The estimated useful lives of certain buildings assets of Altira Macau and City of Dreams were changed from 25 years to 40 years from the date the buildings were placed in service. The changes in estimated useful lives of these buildings assets have resulted in a reduction in depreciation of US$5.8 million, an increase in net income attributable to Melco Resorts & Entertainment Limited of US$5.8 million and an increase in basic and diluted earnings per share of US$0.004 for the year ended December 31, 2015.

Our land use rights in Macau under the land concession contracts for Altira Macau, City of Dreams and Studio City are being amortized over the estimated term of the land use rights on a straight-line basis. The amortization of land use rights is recognized from the date construction commences. Each land concession contract in Macau has an initial term of 25 years and is renewable for further consecutive periods of ten years, subject to applicable legislation in Macau. The land use rights were originally amortized over the initial term of 25 years, in which the expiry dates of the land use rights of Altira Macau, City of Dreams and Studio City are March 2031, August 2033 and October 2026, respectively. The estimated term of the land use rights are periodically reviewed. For the review of such estimated term of the land use rights under the applicable land concession contracts, we considered factors such as the business and operating environment of the gaming industry in Macau, laws and regulations in Macau, and our development plans. As a result, effective from October 1, 2015, the estimated term of the land use rights under the land concession contracts for Altira Macau, City of Dreams and Studio City, in accordance with the relevant accounting standards, have been extended to April 2047, May 2049 and October 2055, respectively which aligned with the estimated useful lives of certain buildings assets of 40 years. The changes in estimated term of the land use rights under the applicable land concession contracts have resulted in a reduction in amortization of land use rights of US$10.4 million, an increase in net income attributable to Melco Resorts & Entertainment Limited of US$6.8 million and an increase in basic and diluted earnings per share of US$0.004 for the year ended December 31, 2015.

Costs of repairs and maintenance are charged to expense when incurred. The cost and accumulated depreciation of property and equipment retired or otherwise disposed of are eliminated from the respective accounts and any resulting gain or loss is included in operating income or loss.

Our total capital expenditures for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015 were US$559.0 million, US$437.9 million and US$1,455.8 million, respectively, of which US$392.0 million, US$351.9 million and US$1,258.4 million, respectively, were attributable to our development and construction projects, with the remainder primarily related to the enhancements to our integrated resort offerings of our properties. The development and construction capital expenditures primarily related to the development and

 

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construction of various projects at City of Dreams, including Morpheus, and Studio City during the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015. Refer to note 23 to the consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this annual report for further details of these capital expenditures.

We also review our property and equipment and other long-lived assets with finite lives to be held and used for impairment whenever indicators of impairment exist. If an indicator of impairment exists, we then compare the estimated future cash flows of the asset, on an undiscounted basis, to the carrying value of the asset. The undiscounted cash flows of such assets are measured by first grouping our long-lived assets into asset groups and, secondly, estimating the undiscounted future cash flows that are directly associated with and expected to arise from the use of and eventual disposition of such asset group. We define an asset group as the lowest level for which identifiable cash flows are largely independent of the cash flows of other assets and liabilities and estimate the undiscounted cash flows over the remaining useful life of the primary asset within the asset group. If the undiscounted cash flows exceed the carrying value, no impairment is indicated. If the undiscounted cash flows do not exceed the carrying value, then an impairment charge is recorded based on the fair value of the asset group, typically measured using a discounted cash flow model. If an asset is still under development, future cash flows include remaining construction costs. All recognized impairment losses are recorded as operating expenses.

During the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, impairment losses of US$23.2 million, US$3.2 million and nil were recognized mainly due to reconfiguration and renovation at our operating properties.

Goodwill and Purchased Intangible Assets

We review the carrying value of goodwill and purchased intangible assets with indefinite useful lives, representing the trademarks of Mocha Clubs, that arose from the acquisition of Mocha Slot Group Limited and its subsidiaries by our Company in 2006, for impairment at least on an annual basis or whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying value may not be recoverable.

When performing the impairment analysis for goodwill and intangible assets with indefinite lives, we may first perform a qualitative assessment to determine whether it is more likely than not that the asset is impaired. If we determine a qualitative assessment is to be performed, we assess certain qualitative factors including, but not limited to, the results of the most recent quantitative impairment test, operating results and projected operating results, and macro-economic and industry conditions. If we determined that it is more likely than not that the asset is impaired after assessing the qualitative factors, we then perform a quantitative impairment test.

To perform a quantitative impairment test of goodwill, we perform an assessment that consists of a comparison of the carrying value of our reporting unit with its fair value. If the carrying value of a reporting unit exceeds its fair value, we would perform the second step in our assessment process and record an impairment loss to earnings to the extent the carrying amount of the reporting unit’s goodwill exceeds its implied fair value. We estimate the fair value of our reporting unit through internal analysis and external valuations, which utilize income and market valuation approaches through the application of capitalized earnings and discounted cash flow methods. These valuation techniques are based on a number of estimates and assumptions, including the projected future operating results of the reporting unit, discount rates, long-term growth rates and market comparables.

To perform a quantitative impairment test of the trademarks of Mocha Clubs, we perform an assessment that consists of a comparison of their carrying values with their fair values using the relief-from-royalty method. Under this method, we estimate the fair values of the trademarks through internal and external valuations, mainly based on the incremental after-tax cash flow representing the royalties that we are relieved from paying given we are the owner of the trademarks. These valuation techniques are based on a number of estimates and assumptions, including the projected future revenues of the trademarks, calculated using an appropriate royalty rate, discount rate and long-term growth rates.

 

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We have performed annual tests for impairment of goodwill and trademarks in accordance with the accounting standards regarding goodwill and other intangible assets. As of December 31, 2017, we performed qualitative assessments for goodwill and trademarks and determined that it was not more likely than not that goodwill and trademarks were impaired. As of December 31, 2016, the detailed quantitative impairment tests were performed and computed the fair value of our reporting unit was in excess of the carrying amount and fair values of the trademarks were in excess of their carrying amounts. As a result of these assessments, we determined that no impairment of goodwill and trademarks existed as of December 31, 2017 and 2016.

Determining the fair value of goodwill and trademarks of Mocha Clubs is judgmental in nature and requires the use of significant estimates and assumptions, including projected future operating results of the reporting unit, discount rates, long-term growth rates and future market conditions. Future changes to our estimates and assumptions based upon changes in operating results, macro-economic factors or management’s intentions may result in future changes to the fair value of the goodwill and trademarks of Mocha Clubs.

Share-based Compensation

We measure the cost of employee services received in exchange for an award of equity instruments based on the grant-date fair value of the award and recognize the cost over the service period in accordance with applicable accounting standards. We use the Black-Scholes valuation model to value the equity instruments issued. The Black-Scholes valuation model requires the use of highly subjective assumptions of expected volatility of the underlying stock, risk-free interest rates and the expected term of options granted. Management determines these assumptions through internal analysis and external valuations utilizing current market rates, making industry comparisons and reviewing conditions relevant to us.

The expected volatility and expected term assumptions can impact the fair value of share options. We estimate the expected volatility based on our historical volatility and estimate the expected term based upon the vesting term or the historical expected term of publicly traded companies. We believe that the valuation techniques and the approach utilized in developing our assumptions are reasonable in calculating the fair value of the share options we granted. For 2017 awards (excluding any options granted under modification), either a 10% change in the volatility assumption or a 10% change in the expected term assumption would not have a material effect on the change in fair value. These assumed changes in fair value would have been recognized over the vesting schedule of such awards. It should be noted that a change in expected term would cause other changes, since the risk-free rate and volatility assumptions are specific to the term; we did not attempt to adjust those assumptions in performing the sensitivity analysis above.

Revenue Recognition

We recognize revenue at the time persuasive evidence of an arrangement exists, the service is provided or the retail goods are sold, prices are fixed or determinable and collection is reasonably assured.

Casino revenues are measured by the aggregate net difference between gaming wins and losses less accruals for the anticipated payouts of progressive slot jackpots. Funds deposited by customers in advance and chips in the customers’ possession are recognized as a liability before gaming play occurs.

We follow the accounting standards for reporting revenue gross as a principal versus net as an agent, when accounting for the operations of certain hotels and Taipa Square Casino. For the operations of certain hotels, we are the owner of the hotel properties, and the hotel managers operate the hotels under management agreements providing management services to us, and we receive all rewards and take substantial risks associated with the hotels’ business; we are the principal and the transactions are, therefore, recognized on a gross basis. For the operations of Taipa Square Casino, given that we operate the casino under a right to use agreement with the owner of the casino premises and have full responsibility for the casino operations in accordance with our gaming subconcession. As such, we are the principal and casino revenue is, therefore, recognized on a gross basis.

 

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Room revenues, food and beverage revenues, and entertainment, retail and other revenues are recognized when services are provided or retail goods are sold. Advance deposits on rooms and advance ticket sales are recorded as customer deposits until services are provided to the customer. Minimum operating and right to use fees, adjusted for contractual base fees and operating fees escalations, are included in entertainment, retail and other revenues and are recognized on a straight-line basis over the terms of the related agreements.

Revenues are recognized net of certain sales incentives which are required to be recorded as a reduction of revenue; consequently, our casino revenues are reduced by discounts, commissions (including commission rebated indirectly to rolling chip players) and points from customer loyalty programs, such as the player’s club loyalty program. We estimate commission rebated indirectly to rolling chip players based on our assessment of gaming promoters’ practice and current market conditions.

The retail values of rooms, food and beverage, entertainment, retail and other services furnished to guests without charge are included in gross revenues and then deducted as promotional allowances. The estimated cost of providing such promotional allowances is reclassified from rooms costs, food and beverage costs, and entertainment, retail and other services costs and is primarily included in casino expenses.

Accounts Receivable and Credit Risk

Financial instruments that potentially subject our Company to concentrations of credit risk consist principally of casino receivables. We issue credit in the form of markers to approved casino customers following investigations of creditworthiness including to our gaming promoters in Macau and the Philippines. Such accounts receivable can be offset against commissions payable and any other value items held by us to the respective customer and for which we intend to set off when required. For the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, approximately 31.4%, 23.5% and 29.1% of our casino revenues were derived from customers sourced through our rolling chip gaming promoters, respectively.

As of December 31, 2017 and 2016, a substantial portion of our markers were due from customers and gaming promoters residing in foreign countries. Business or economic conditions, the legal enforceability of gaming debts, or other significant events in foreign countries could affect the collectability of receivables from customers and gaming promoters residing in these countries.

Accounts receivable, including casino, hotel, and other receivables, are typically non-interest bearing and are initially recorded at cost. Accounts are written off when management deems it is probable the receivable is uncollectible. Recoveries of accounts previously written off are recorded when received. An estimated allowance for doubtful debts is maintained to reduce our receivables to their carrying amounts, which approximate fair values. The allowance is estimated based on our specific reviews of customer accounts as well as management’s experience with collection trends in the casino industry and current economic and business conditions. For balances over a specified dollar amount, our review is based upon the age of the specific account balance, the customer’s financial condition, collection history and any other known information. At December 31, 2017, a 100 basis-point change in the estimated allowance for doubtful debts as a percentage of casino receivables would change the provision for doubtful debts by approximately US$3.8 million.

Income Tax

Deferred income taxes are recognized for all significant temporary differences between the tax basis of assets and liabilities and their reported amounts in the consolidated financial statements. Deferred tax assets are reduced by a valuation allowance when, in the opinion of management, it is more likely than not that some portion or all of the deferred tax assets will not be realized. Current income taxes are provided for in accordance with the laws of the relevant taxing authorities. As of December 31, 2017 and 2016, we recorded valuation allowances of US$226.6 million and US$226.1 million, respectively, as management does not believe that it is more likely than not that the deferred tax assets will be realized. Our assessment considers, among other matters,

 

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the nature, frequency and severity of current and cumulative losses, forecasts of future profitability, and the duration of statutory carryforward periods. To the extent that the financial results of our operations improve and it becomes more likely than not that the deferred tax assets are realizable, the valuation allowances will be reduced.

Recent Changes in Accounting Standards

See note 2 to the consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this report for discussion of recent changes in accounting standards.

B. LIQUIDITY AND CAPITAL RESOURCES

We have relied and intend to rely on our cash generated from our operations and our debt and equity financings to meet our financing needs and repay our indebtedness, as the case may be.

As of December 31, 2017, we held cash and cash equivalents, investments in mutual funds that mainly invest in bonds and fixed-interest securities, bank deposits with original maturities over three months and restricted cash of approximately US$1,408.2 million, US$89.9 million, US$9.9 million and US$45.5 million, respectively, and the HK$9.75 billion (equivalent to approximately US$1.25 billion) revolving credit facility under the 2015 Credit Facilities remains available for future drawdown, subject to satisfaction of certain conditions precedent. Further, the 2015 Credit Facilities includes an incremental facility of up to US$1.3 billion to be made available upon further agreement with any of the existing lenders under the 2015 Credit Facilities or with other entities.

The HK$233.0 million (equivalent to approximately US$29.9 million) revolving credit facility under the 2021 Studio City Senior Secured Credit Facility is available for future drawdown as of December 31, 2017, subject to satisfaction of certain conditions precedent.

MRP entered into a PHP2.35 billion (equivalent to approximately US$47.2 million) bank credit facility with the availability up to May 29, 2018, which remains available for future drawdown as of December 31, 2017, subject to satisfaction of certain conditions precedent.

As of December 31, 2017, restricted cash primarily represented the unspent cash from the capital injection for the remaining project for Studio City from our Company and SCI minority shareholder in accordance with our shareholder agreement, which was restricted only for the initial development costs and other project costs of the remaining project of Studio City; and certain bank account balances required to be maintained in accordance with the Studio City Notes to serve the interest repayment obligations.

We have been able to meet our working capital needs, and we believe that our operating cash flow, existing cash balances, funds available under various credit facilities and any additional equity or debt financings will be adequate to satisfy our current and anticipated operating, debt and capital commitments, including our development project plans, as described in “— Other Financing and Liquidity Matters” below. For any additional financing requirements, we cannot provide assurance that future borrowings will be available. See “Item 3. Key Information — D. Risk Factors — Risks Relating to Our Financing and Indebtedness” for more information. We have significant indebtedness and will continue to evaluate our capital structure and opportunities to enhance it in the normal course of our activities. We may from time to time seek to retire or purchase our outstanding debt through cash purchases, in open market purchases, privately-negotiated transactions or otherwise. Such purchases, if any, will depend on prevailing market conditions, our liquidity requirements, contractual restrictions and other factors. The amounts involved may be material.

 

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Cash Flows

The following table sets forth a summary of our cash flows for the years indicated:

 

     Year Ended December 31,  
     2017      2016      2015  
     (in thousands of US$)  

Net cash provided by operating activities

   $ 1,162,500      $ 1,158,128      $ 522,026  

Net cash (used in) provided by investing activities

     (410,226      280,604        (469,656

Net cash used in financing activities

     (1,046,041      (1,339,717      (29,688

Effect of foreign exchange on cash and cash equivalents

     (332      (7,731      (9,311
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Net (decrease) increase in cash and cash equivalents

     (294,099      91,284        13,371  

Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of year

     1,702,310        1,611,026        1,597,655  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Cash and cash equivalents at end of year

   $ 1,408,211      $ 1,702,310      $ 1,611,026  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Operating Activities

Operating cash flows are generally affected by changes in operating income and accounts receivable with VIP table games play and hotel operations conducted on a cash and credit basis and the remainder of the business including mass market table games play, gaming machine play, food and beverage, and entertainment are conducted primarily on a cash basis.

Net cash provided by operating activities was US$1,162.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2017, compared to US$1,158.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2016. The increase in net cash provided by operating activities was primarily contributed from an improvement in underlying operating performance as described in the foregoing section net with increased working capital for operations.

Net cash provided by operating activities was US$1,158.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2016, compared to US$522.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2015. The increase in net cash provided by operating activities was primarily contributed from an improvement in underlying operating performance as described in the foregoing section, including the contribution from the full-year operation of Studio City, and decreased working capital for operations.

Investing Activities

Net cash used in investing activities was US$410.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2017, compared to net cash provided by investing activities of US$280.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2016. The change was primarily due to a decrease in net withdrawals of bank deposits with original maturities over three months, payments for investment securities and an increase in restricted cash for the year ended December 31, 2017. Net cash used in investing activities for the year ended December 31, 2017 mainly included capital expenditure payments of US$486.4 million, payments for investment securities of US$91.0 million, deposits for acquisition of property and equipment of US$16.4 million, advance payments for construction costs of US$12.2 million and an increase in restricted cash of US$6.2 million, which were offset in part by the net withdrawal of bank deposits with original maturities over three months of US$201.0 million.

The increase of US$6.2 million in the amount of restricted cash for the year ended December 31, 2017 was primarily due to the placement to bank accounts which are restricted in accordance with the terms of the respective agreements of the Studio City Notes and the 2021 Studio City Senior Secured Credit Facility for payment of Studio City project costs and interest payment.

 

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Net cash provided by investing activities was US$280.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2016, compared to net cash used in investing activities of US$469.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2015. The change was primarily due to the net withdrawals of bank deposits with original maturities over three months and the decrease in capital expenditure payments upon Studio City opening in October 2015, partially offset by a smaller decrease in restricted cash for the year ended December 31, 2016. Net cash provided by investing activities for the year ended December 31, 2016 mainly included the net withdrawal of bank deposits with original maturities over three months of US$513.9 million, a decrease in restricted cash of US$277.6 million and proceeds from sale of property and equipment of US$28.9 million, which were offset in part by capital expenditure payments of US$500.2 million, advance payments for construction costs of US$31.6 million and deposits for acquisition of property and equipment of US$4.2 million.

The decrease of US$277.6 million in the amount of restricted cash for the year ended December 31, 2016 was primarily due to the release of restricted cash required by the terms under Studio City Project Facility upon the repayment of Studio City Project Facility in full (other than HK$1.0 million rolled over into a term loan facility under the 2021 Studio City Senior Secured Credit Facility), and the withdrawal and payment of Studio City project costs from bank accounts that are restricted for Studio City project costs.

Our total capital expenditure payments were US$486.4 million and US$500.2 million for the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016, respectively. Such expenditures were mainly associated with our development projects, including Morpheus, which is the third phase of City of Dreams, as well as enhancement to our integrated resort offerings. We also paid US$3.8 million for the scheduled installment of City of Dreams’ land premium payments during the year ended December 31, 2016.

We expect to incur significant capital expenditures for the development of Morpheus, the redevelopment and rebranding of The Countdown and the future development of the remaining land of Studio City. See “— Other Financing and Liquidity Matters” below for more information.

The following table sets forth our capital expenditures incurred by segment on an accrual basis for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015.

 

     Year Ended December 31,  
     2017      2016      2015  
     (in thousands of US$)  

Macau:

        

Mocha Clubs

   $ 4,690      $ 7,763      $ 6,446  

Altira Macau

     5,776        3,031        18,404  

City of Dreams

     467,780        359,258        331,503  

Studio City

     37,174        62,754        968,696  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Sub-total

     515,420        432,806        1,325,049  

The Philippines:

        

City of Dreams Manila

     13,571        3,621        98,884  

Corporate and Other

     30,051        1,485        31,909  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total capital expenditures

   $ 559,042      $ 437,912      $ 1,455,842  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Our capital expenditures for the year ended December 31, 2017 increased from that for the year ended December 31, 2016 primarily due to the development of various projects at City of Dreams, including Morpheus. Our capital expenditures for the year ended December 31, 2016 decreased from that for the year ended December 31, 2015 primarily due to the completion of Studio City and City of Dreams Manila, net with the increase for the development of various projects at City of Dreams, including Morpheus.

 

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Advance payments for construction costs were US$12.2 million, US$31.6 million and US$19.7 million for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively. Such payments were incurred primarily for the development of various projects at City of Dreams, including Morpheus.

Financing Activities

Net cash used in financing activities amounted to US$1,046.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2017, primarily due to (i) dividend payments of US$821.3 million, (ii) early partial redemption of the Philippine Notes in the amount of US$144.8 million, (iii) scheduled repayments of the term loan under the 2015 Credit Facilities and Aircraft Term Loan of US$51.5 million, (iv) payments of refinancing costs and debt issuance costs of US$34.6 million primarily associated with the refinancing of the 2013 Senior Notes with the 2017 Senior Notes, which were offset in part by (v) net proceeds of US$2.6 million from the refinancing of the 2013 Senior Notes. The US$1.0 billion principal amount outstanding under the 2013 Senior Notes was refinanced by the proceeds from the US$650.0 million principal amount of the 2017 Senior Notes issued on June 6, 2017 and US$350.0 million from the partial drawdown of the revolving credit facility under the 2015 Credit Facilities. The US$350.0 million partial drawdown from the revolving credit facility under the 2015 Credit Facilities was subsequently repaid by the US$352.6 million proceeds from the issuance of the US$350.0 million principal amount of the 2017 Senior Notes issued on July 3, 2017, which priced at 100.75%.

Net cash used in financing activities amounted to US$1,339.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2016, primarily due to (i) the repurchase of shares for retirement of US$803.2 million; (ii) dividend payments of US$385.6 million; (iii) scheduled repayments and early repayment in full of the Studio City Project Facility (other than HK$1.0 million rolled over into a term loan facility under the 2021 Studio City Senior Secured Credit Facility) of US$1,295.6 million with proceeds of US$1,200.0 million from the issuance of the 2016 Studio City Notes; (iv) scheduled repayments of the term loan under the 2015 Credit Facilities of US$22.6 million and (v) payment of debt issuance costs primarily associated with the 2016 Studio City Notes and the 2021 Studio City Senior Secured Credit Facility as well as payment of legal and professional fees for amending the loan documentation for the Studio City Project Facility of US$27.3 million.

Net cash used in financing activities amounted to US$29.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2015, primarily due to (i) the scheduled repayment of the term loan under 2011 Credit Facilities of US$64.2 million; (ii) dividend payments of US$62.9 million; (iii) the payment of debt issuance cost primarily associated with the 2015 Credit Facilities of US$49.9 million, which were offset in part by (iv) net proceeds from the refinancing of 2011 Credit Facilities with 2015 Credit Facilities of US$148.3 million.

Indebtedness

The following table presents a summary of our gross indebtedness as of December 31, 2017:

 

     As of December 31, 2017  
     (in thousands of US$)  

2016 Studio City Notes

   $ 1,200,000  

2017 Senior Notes

     1,000,000  

2012 Studio City Notes

     825,000  

2015 Credit Facilities

     433,611  

Philippine Notes

     150,232  

Aircraft Term Loan

     10,167  

2021 Studio City Senior Secured Credit Facility

     129  
  

 

 

 
   $ 3,619,139  
  

 

 

 

Major changes in our indebtedness during the year ended and subsequent to December 31, 2017 are summarized below.

 

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On June 6, 2017, Melco Resorts Finance issued US$650.0 million in aggregate principal amount of the 2017 Senior Notes. On June 14, 2017, together with the proceeds from the issuance of US$650.0 million in aggregate principal amount of the 2017 Senior Notes along with the proceeds in the amount of US$350.0 million from a partial drawdown of the revolving credit facility under the 2015 Credit Facilities and cash on hand, Melco Resorts Finance redeemed all of its outstanding 2013 Senior Notes.

On July 3, 2017, Melco Resorts Finance issued an additional US$350.0 million in aggregate principal amount of the 2017 Senior Notes, the net proceeds from which were used to repay in full the US$350.0 million drawdown from the revolving credit facility under the 2015 Credit Facilities.

On October 9, 2017, Melco Resorts Leisure partially redeemed the Philippine Notes in an aggregate principal amount of PHP7.5 billion, together with accrued interest.

For further details of the above indebtedness, see note 11 to the consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this annual report, which includes information regarding the type of debt facilities used, the maturity profile of debt, the currency and interest rate structure, the charge on our assets and the nature and extent of any restrictions on our ability, and the ability of our subsidiaries, to transfer funds as cash dividends, loans or advances. See also “Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects — F. Tabular Disclosure of Contractual Obligations” for details of the maturity profile of debt and “Item 11. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk” for further understanding of our hedging of interest rate risk and foreign exchange risk exposure.

Other Financing and Liquidity Matters

We may obtain financing in the form of, among other things, equity or debt, including additional bank loans or high yield, mezzanine or other debt, or rely on our operating cash flow to fund the development of our projects. We are a growing company with significant financial needs. We expect to have significant capital expenditures in the future as we continue to develop our properties, in particular, Morpheus and The Countdown at City of Dreams in Cotai, Macau, and the remaining land of Studio City.

We have relied, and intend in the future to rely, on our operating cash flow and different forms of financing to meet our funding needs and repay our indebtedness, as the case may be.

The timing of any future debt and equity financing activities will be dependent on our funding needs, our development and construction schedule, the availability of funds on terms acceptable to us and prevailing market conditions. We may carry out activities from time to time to strengthen our financial position and ability to better fund our business expansion plans. Such activities may include refinancing existing debt, monetizing assets, sale-and-leaseback transactions or other similar activities.

In May 2017, we completed the offer and sale of 27,769,248 ADSs (equivalent to 83,307,744 ordinary shares) and 81,995,799 ordinary shares and also repurchased 165,303,544 ordinary shares from Crown Asia Investments for the aggregate purchase price of US$1.2 billion. We subsequently cancelled the shares repurchased by us.

On August 14, 2017, SCI announced it submitted on a confidential basis to the Securities and Exchange Commission a draft registration statement for a possible initial public offering of American depositary shares representing ordinary shares of SCI.

Any other future developments may be subject to further financing and a number of other factors, many of which are beyond our control.

As of December 31, 2017, we had capital commitments contracted for but not incurred mainly for the construction and acquisition of property and equipment for City of Dreams totaling US$138.0 million. In

 

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addition, we have contingent liabilities arising in the ordinary course of business. For further details for our commitments and contingencies, see note 21 to the consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this annual report.

Each of Melco Resorts Macau and Studio City Company has a corporate rating of “BB” and “BB-” by Standard & Poor’s, respectively, and each of Melco Resorts Finance and Studio City Finance has a corporate rating of “Ba3” and “B2” by Moody’s Investors Service, respectively. For future borrowings, any decrease in our corporate rating could result in an increase in borrowing costs.

Restrictions on Distributions

For discussion on the ability of our subsidiaries to transfer funds to our Company in the form of cash dividends, loans or advances and the impact such restrictions have on our ability to meet our cash obligations, see “Item 4. Information on the Company — B. Business Overview — Restrictions on Distribution of Profits.” See also “Item 8. Financial Information — A. Consolidated Statements and Other Financial Information — Dividend Policy” and note 18 to the consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this annual report.

C. RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT, PATENTS AND LICENSES, ETC.

We have entered into license or hotel management agreements with the following entities or groups for allowing us to have exclusive and non-transferable license rights to use their trademarks for our properties:

 

    Crown Melbourne Limited in relation to the use of the Crown trademark in Macau and the Philippines;

 

    Hyatt group in relation to the use of various trademarks owned by Hyatt group for the branding of the Grand Hyatt hotel at City of Dreams;

 

    Nobu Hospitality LLC in relation to the use of certain trademarks and intellectual property rights owned by Nobu in connection with its development, operation and management of the Nobu hotel and restaurant at City of Dreams Manila;

 

    Hyatt International Corporation and Melco Resorts Leisure, under which various trademarks owned by Hyatt are licensed to Melco Resorts Leisure for its operation of a hotel at City of Dreams Manila; and

 

    DreamWorks Animation and Melco Resorts Leisure, under which various trademarks and other intellectual property rights owned by DreamWorks Animation are licensed to Melco Resorts Leisure for its operation of DreamPlay by DreamWorks, a family entertainment center at City of Dreams Manila.

In addition, we also purchase gaming tables and gaming machines and enter into licensing agreements for the use of certain trade names and, in the case of the gaming machines, the right to use software in connection therewith. These include a license to use a jackpot system for the gaming machines. For other intellectual property that we owned, see “Item 4. Information on the Company — B. Business Overview — Intellectual Property.”

D. TREND INFORMATION

The following trends and uncertainties may affect our operations and financial conditions:

 

    Policies and campaigns implemented by the Chinese government, including restrictions on travel, anti-corruption campaign, close monitoring of cross-border currency movement, restrictions on currency withdrawal, increased scrutiny of marketing activities in China or new measures taken by the Chinese government to deter marketing of gaming activities to mainland Chinese residents by foreign casinos, as well as any slowdown of economic growth in China, may lead to a decline and limit the recovery and growth in the number of patrons visiting our properties and the spending amount of such patrons;

 

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    The gaming and leisure market in Macau and the Philippines are developing and the competitive landscapes are expected to evolve as more gaming and non-gaming facilities are developed in the regions where our properties are located. More supply of integrated resorts in the Cotai region of Macau and in Entertainment City of the Philippines will intensify the competition in the business that we operate;

 

    The impact of new policies and legislation implemented by the Macau government, including travel and visa policies, anti-smoking legislation as well as policies relating to gaming table allocations and gaming machine requirements;

 

    The impact of new policies and legislation implemented by the Philippine government, including potential additional licensing requirements and potential tax legislation subjecting our Philippine subsidiaries to Philippines corporate income tax, value-added tax and other tax assessments in addition to the license fees paid to PAGCOR pursuant to the Regular License;

 

    Gaming promoters in Macau are experiencing increased regulatory scrutiny that has resulted in the cessation of business of certain gaming promoters, a trend which may affect our operations in a number of ways:

 

    a concentration of gaming promoters may result in such gaming promoters having significant leverage and bargaining strength in negotiating agreements with gaming operators, which could result in gaming promoters negotiating changes to our agreements with them or the loss of business to a competitor or the loss of certain relationships with gaming promoters, any of which may adversely affect our results of operations;

 

    if any of our gaming promoters ceases business or fails to maintain the required standards of regulatory compliance, probity and integrity, their exposure to patron and other litigation and regulatory enforcement actions may increase, which in turn may expose us to an increased risk for litigation, regulatory enforcement actions and damage to our reputations; and

 

    since we depend on gaming promoters for our VIP gaming revenue, difficulties in their operations may expose us to higher operational risk.

See also “Item 3. Key Information — D. Risk Factors,” “Item 4. Information on the Company — B. Business Overview — Market and Competition,” and other information elsewhere in this annual report for recent trends affecting our revenues and costs since the previous financial year and a discussion of any trends, uncertainties, demands, commitments or events that are reasonably likely to have a material effect on our net revenues, income from continuing operations, profitability, liquidity or capital resources, or that would cause the reported financial information not necessarily to be indicative of future operating results or financial condition.

E. OFF-BALANCE SHEET ARRANGEMENTS

We have not entered into any material financial guarantees or other commitments to guarantee the payment obligations of any third parties. We have not entered into any derivative contracts that are indexed to our shares and classified as shareholder’s equity or that are not reflected in our consolidated financial statements.

Furthermore, we do not have any retained or contingent interest in assets transferred to an unconsolidated entity that serves as credit, liquidity or market risk support to such entity. We do not have any variable interest in any unconsolidated entity that provides financing, liquidity, market risk or credit support to us or engages in leasing, hedging or research and development services with us.

 

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F. TABULAR DISCLOSURE OF CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATIONS

Our total long-term indebtedness and other contractual obligations as of December 31, 2017 are summarized below.

 

     Payments Due by Period  
     Less than
1 year
     1-3 years      3-5 years      More than
5 years
     Total  
     (in millions of US$)  

Long-term debt obligations(1):

  

2016 Studio City Notes

   $      $ 350.0    $ 850.0    $      $ 1,200.0

2017 Senior Notes

                          1,000.0      1,000.0

2012 Studio City Notes

            825.0                    825.0

2015 Credit Facilities

     45.1      90.2      298.3             433.6

Philippine Notes

            150.2                    150.2

Aircraft Term Loan

     6.7      3.5                    10.2

2021 Studio City Senior Secured Credit Facility

                   0.1             0.1

Fixed interest payments(2)

     210.5        374.6      154.0      118.5      857.6

Variable interest payments(3)

     10.5        17.2      3.5             31.2

Other finance fees(4)

     0.5                             0.5

Capital lease obligations(5)

     35.9        82.6      96.5      542.9      757.9

Operating lease obligations:

              

Operating leases, including City of Dreams Manila and Mocha Clubs locations

     26.7        44.0      28.0      50.9      149.6

Construction costs and property and equipment retention payables

     33.5        11.8                    45.3

Other contractual commitments:

              

Government annual land use fees(6)

     2.3        4.6      5.0      19.0      30.9

Construction, plant and equipment acquisition commitments(7)

     132.7        5.3                    138.0

Gaming subconcession premium(8)

     28.1        56.4      41.9             126.4
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total contractual obligations

   $ 532.5    $ 2,015.4    $ 1,477.3    $ 1,731.3    $ 5,756.5
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

(1) See note 11 to the consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this annual report for further details on these debt facilities.

 

(2) Amounts included the gross up withholding tax on interest expenses for the Philippine Notes in accordance with the terms of the notes facility and security agreement.

 

(3) Amounts for all periods represent our estimated future interest payments on our debt facilities based upon amounts outstanding and HIBOR or LIBOR as at December 31, 2017 plus the applicable interest rate spread in accordance with the respective debt agreements. Actual rates will vary.

 

(4) The amounts represent the other finance fees for the Philippine Notes in accordance with the terms of the notes facility and security agreement.

 

(5) See note 12 to the consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this annual report for further details on capital lease obligations.

 

(6) The City of Dreams, Altira Macau and Studio City sites are located on land parcels in which we have received a land concession from the Macau government for a 25-year term, renewable for further consecutive periods of ten years, subject to applicable legislation in Macau. See “Item 4. Information on the Company — B. Business Overview — Our Land and Premises” for further details of the land concession obligations.

 

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(7) See note 21(a) to the consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this annual report for further details on construction, plant and equipment acquisition commitments.

 

(8) In accordance with our gaming subconcession, we are required to pay a fixed annual premium of MOP30.0 million (approximately US$3.7 million) and variable premium per year based on number of gaming tables and gaming machines we operate in addition to the 39% gross gaming win tax (which is not included in this table as the amount is variable in nature). Amounts for all periods are calculated based on our gaming tables and gaming machines in operation as at December 31, 2017 through to the termination of the gaming subconcession in June 2022.

G. SAFE HARBOR

See “Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements.”

 

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ITEM 6. DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND EMPLOYEES

A. DIRECTORS AND SENIOR MANAGEMENT

Directors and Executive Officers

The following table sets forth information regarding our directors and executive officers as of the date of this annual report on Form 20-F.

 

Name

   Age     

Position/Title

Lawrence Yau Lung Ho

     41      Chairman, chief executive officer and executive director

Clarence Yuk Man Chung

     55      Non-executive director

Evan Andrew Winkler

     43      Non-executive director

Alec Yiu Wa Tsui

     68      Independent non-executive director

Thomas Jefferson Wu

     45      Independent non-executive director

John William Crawford

     75      Independent non-executive director

Geoffrey Stuart Davis

     49      Executive vice president and chief financial officer

Stephanie Cheung

     55      Executive vice president and chief legal officer

Akiko Takahashi

     64     

Executive vice president and chief human resources/

corporate social responsibility officer

Directors

Mr. Lawrence Yau Lung Ho was appointed as our executive director on December 20, 2004, and served as our co-chairman and chief executive officer between December 2004 and April 2016 before he was re-designated as chairman and chief executive officer in May 2016. Since November 2001, Mr. Ho has served as the managing director of Melco International and its chairman and chief executive officer since March 2006. Mr. Ho has also been appointed as the chairman and director of Maple Peak Investment Inc., a company listed on the TSX Venture Exchange in Canada, since July 2016, and also serves on numerous boards and committees of privately-held companies in Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China.

As a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, Mr. Ho serves on the board or participates as a committee member in various organizations in Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China. He is a vice chairman of the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce; a member of the Board of Directors and a Vice Patron of The Community Chest of Hong Kong; a member of the All China Youth Federation; a member of the Macau Basic Law Promotion Association; chairman of the Macau International Volunteers Association; a member of the Board of Governors of The Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong; honorary lifetime director of The Chinese General Chamber of Commerce of Hong Kong; honorary patron of The Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Macao; honorary president of the Association of Property Agents and Real Estate Developers of Macau; and director Executive of the Macao Chamber of Commerce.

In recognition of Mr. Ho’s excellent directorship and entrepreneurial spirit, Institutional Investor honored him as the “Best CEO” in 2005. He was also granted the “5th China Enterprise Award for Creative Businessmen” by the China Marketing Association and China Enterprise News, “Leader of Tomorrow” by Hong Kong Tatler and the “Directors of the Year Award” by the Hong Kong Institute of Directors in 2005. In 2017, Mr. Ho was awarded the Medal of Merit-Tourism by the Macau SAR government for his significant contributions to tourism in the territory.

As a socially-responsible young entrepreneur in Hong Kong, Mr. Ho was selected as one of the “Ten Outstanding Young Persons Selection 2006,” organized by Junior Chamber International Hong Kong. In 2007, he was elected as a finalist in the “Best Chairman” category in the “Stevie International Business Awards” and

 

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one of the “100 Most Influential People across Asia Pacific” by Asiamoney magazine. In 2008, he was granted the “China Charity Award” by the Ministry of Civil Affairs of the People’s Republic of China. In 2009, Mr. Ho was selected as one of the “China Top Ten Financial and Intelligent Persons” judged by a panel led by the Beijing Cultural Development Study Institute and Fortune Times and was named “Young Entrepreneur of the Year” at Hong Kong’s first Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards.

Mr. Ho was selected by FinanceAsia magazine as one of the “Best CEOs in Hong Kong” for the fifth time in 2014 and was granted the “Leadership Gold Award” in the Business Awards of Macau in 2015. Mr. Ho has been honored as one of the recipients of the “Asian Corporate Director Recognition Awards” by Corporate Governance Asia magazine for six consecutive years since 2012, and was awarded “Asia’s Best CEO” at the Asian Excellence Awards for the sixth time in 2017.

Mr. Ho graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in commerce from the University of Toronto, Canada, in June 1999 and was awarded the Honorary Doctor of Business Administration degree by Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland, in July 2009 for his contribution to business, education and the community in Hong Kong, Macau and China.

Mr. Clarence Yuk Man Chung was appointed as our non-executive director on November 21, 2006. Mr. Chung has also been an executive director of Melco International since May 2006, which he joined in December 2003. In addition, Mr. Chung has been the chairman and president of MRP since December 2012 and has also been appointed as a director of certain of our subsidiaries incorporated in various jurisdictions. Before joining Melco International, Mr. Chung had been in the financial industry in various capacities as a chief financial officer, an investment banker and a merger and acquisition specialist. He was named one of the “Asian Gaming 50” for multiple years (including 2017) by Inside Asian Gaming magazine. Mr. Chung is a member of the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and obtained a master’s degree in business administration from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

Mr. Evan Andrew Winkler was appointed as our non-executive director on August 3, 2016. Mr. Winkler has also served as the managing director of Melco International since August 2016 and will be appointed as a director of various subsidiaries of Melco International.

Before joining Melco International, Mr. Winkler served as a managing director at Moelis & Company, a global investment bank. Prior to that, he was a managing director and co-head of technology, media and telecommunications M&A at UBS Investment Bank. Mr. Winkler has extensive experience in providing senior level advisory services on mergers and acquisitions and other corporate finance initiatives, having spent nearly two decades working on Wall Street. He was named as one of the “Top 40 under 40” by Investment Dealers’ Digest in 2010. He holds a bachelor degree in Economics from the University of Chicago.

Mr. Alec Yiu Wa Tsui was appointed as an independent non-executive director on December 18, 2006. Mr. Tsui is the chairman of our nominating and corporate governance committee and a member of our audit and risk committee and compensation committee. Mr. Tsui has extensive experience in finance and administration, corporate and strategic planning, information technology and human resources management, having served at various international companies. He held key positions at the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong from 1989 to 1993, joined the HKSE in 1994 as an executive director of the finance and operations services division and was its chief executive from February 1997 to July 2000. He was also the chief operating officer of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited from March to August 2000. During his tenure at the HKSE, Mr. Tsui was in charge of the finance and accounting functions. Mr. Tsui was the chairman of the Hong Kong Securities Institute from 2001 to 2004 and a consultant of the Shenzhen Stock Exchange from July 2001 to June 2002. Mr. Tsui was an independent non-executive director of China Blue Chemical Limited from April 2006 to June 2012, China Chengtong Development Group Limited from March 2003 to November 2013, China Power International Development Limited from March 2004 to December 2016 and China Oilfield Services Limited

 

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from June 2009 to June 2015, all of which are listed on the HKSE. Mr. Tsui has been a director of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Asia) Limited since August 2000. Mr. Tsui is also an independent non-executive director of a number of companies listed on the HKSE, Nasdaq, the Shanghai Stock Exchange and the Philippine Stock Exchange, including COSCO Shipping International (Hong Kong) Co., Ltd. since 2004, Pacific Online Limited since 2007, ATA Inc. since 2008, Summit Ascent Holdings Limited since March 2011, MRP since December 2012, Kangda International Environmental Company Limited since July 2014 and DTXS Silk Road Investment Holdings Company Limited since December 2015. In addition, due to his long experience as an executive supervising finance and accounting functions, and extensive knowledge and expertise in internal controls and procedures for financial reporting and other matters performed by audit committees in general, Mr. Tsui also serves as a member of the audit committee on several of the companies on which he serves as a director.

Mr. Tsui graduated from the University of Tennessee with a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering in 1975 and a master of engineering degree in 1976. He completed a program for senior managers in government at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 1993.

Mr. Thomas Jefferson Wu JP was appointed as an independent non-executive director on December 18, 2006. Mr. Wu is also the chairman of our compensation committee and a member of our audit and risk committee and nominating and corporate governance committee. Mr. Wu is the deputy chairman and managing director of Hopewell Holdings Limited, a business conglomerate listed on the HKSE. Mr. Wu has served in various roles with the Hopewell Holdings group since 1999, including group controller from March 2000 to June 2001, executive director since June 2001, chief operating officer from January 2002 to August 2002, deputy managing director from August 2003 to June 2007, co-managing director from July 2007 to September 2009, managing director since October 2009 and further appointed as deputy chairman in February 2018. He has served as the managing director of Hopewell Highway Infrastructure Limited since July 2003.

Mr. Wu graduated with high honors from Princeton University in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Mr. Wu then worked in Japan as an engineer for Mitsubishi Electric Corporation for three years before returning to full-time studies at Stanford University, where he obtained a Master of Business Administration degree in 1999. In 2015, he was conferred an honorary fellowship by Lingnan University.

Mr. Wu is active in public service in both Hong Kong and China. Mr. Wu serves in a number of advisory roles at different levels of government. In China, Mr. Wu is a member of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (the “CPPCC”) and the 11th & 12th Heilongjiang Provincial Committee of the CPPCC and was a Standing Committee member and a member of the Huadu District Committee of the CPPCC, among other public service capacities.

In Hong Kong, Mr. Wu’s major public service appointments include being a member of the Hong Kong Tourism Board, a member of the Standing Committee on Disciplined Services Salaries and Conditions of Service of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (the “HKSARG”), a member of the Energy Advisory Committee of the Environment Bureau of the HKSARG, a member of the Committee on Real Estate Investment Trusts of Securities and Futures Commission and a Vice Patron of the Community Chest of Hong Kong. Mr. Wu is also a member of the Business School Advisory Council of The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Previously, Mr. Wu was a council member of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the Hong Kong Baptist University, a member of the Court of The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and a board member of the Asian Youth Orchestra.

In addition to his professional and public service engagements, Mr. Wu is mostly known for his passion for ice hockey, as well as the sport’s development in Hong Kong and the region. Mr. Wu is the vice president (Asia/Oceania) of the International Ice Hockey Federation, co-founder and chairman of the Hong Kong Amateur Club and Hong Kong Academy of Ice Hockey, as well as chairman of the Hong Kong Ice Hockey

 

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Officials Association. Mr. Wu is also the honorary president of the Hong Kong Ice Hockey Association (the national sports association of ice hockey in Hong Kong), vice-chairman of Chinese Ice Hockey Association, honorary president of Macau Ice Sports Federation and honorary chairman of Ice Hockey Association of Taipei Municipal Athletics Federation.

In 2006, the World Economic Forum selected Mr. Wu as a “Young Global Leader.” Mr. Wu was also awarded the “Directors of the Year Award” by the Hong Kong Institute of Directors in 2010, the “Asian Corporate Director Recognition Award” by Corporate Governance Asia in 2011, 2012 and 2013, and named the “Asia’s Best CEO (Investor Relations)” in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Mr. John William Crawford JP was appointed as an independent non-executive director on January 12, 2017. Mr. Crawford is the chairman of our audit and risk committee and a member of our compensation committee and nominating and corporate governance committee. Mr. Crawford has been the managing director of Crawford Consultants Limited and International Quality Education Limited since 1997 and 2002, respectively. Previously, Mr. Crawford was a founding partner of Ernst & Young, Hong Kong, where he acted as engagement or review partner for many public companies and banks during his 25 years in public accounting and was the chairman of the audit division and the vice chairman of the Hong Kong office of the firm prior to retiring in 1997. Mr. Crawford has extensive knowledge of accounting issues from his experience as a managing audit partner of a major international accounting firm and also has extensive operational knowledge as a result of his consulting experience. Mr. Crawford has served as an independent non-executive director and chairman of the audit committee of Regal Portfolio Management Limited of Regal REIT since November 2006 and as an independent non-executive director of Entertainment Gaming Asia Inc. since November 2007 and up until his resignation on July 3, 2017. In November 2011, Mr. Crawford was appointed as a member of the conflicts committee of our subsidiary SCI and resigned from this position on January 10, 2017. Mr. Crawford previously served as an independent non-executive director and chairman of the audit committee of other companies publicly listed in Hong Kong, the most recent of which was E-Kong Group Limited until June 8, 2015.

Mr. Crawford has been deeply involved in the education sector in Asia, including setting up international schools and providing consulting services. He was a member and a governor for many years of the Canadian International School of Hong Kong and remains active in overseeing and consulting for other similar pre-university schools. Additionally, Mr. Crawford is involved in various charitable and/or community activities and was a founding member of UNICEF Hong Kong Committee and the Hong Kong Institute of Directors. In 1997, Mr. Crawford was appointed a Justice of the Peace in Hong Kong. He is a member of the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants, a member and honorary president of the Macau Society of Certified Practising Accountants and a member of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants.

Executive Officers

Mr. Geoffrey Stuart Davis is our executive vice president and chief financial officer and he was appointed to his current role in April 2011. Prior to that, he served as our deputy chief financial officer from August 2010 to March 2011 and our senior vice president, corporate finance since 2007, when he joined our Company. In addition, Mr. Davis has been the chief financial officer of Melco International since December 2017 and a director of MRP, a company listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange, since January 2018. Prior to joining us, Mr. Davis was a research analyst for Citigroup Investment Research, where he covered the U.S. gaming industry from 2001 to 2007. From 1996 to 2000, he held a number of positions at Hilton Hotels Corporation and Park Place Entertainment. Park Place was spun off from Hilton Hotels Corporation and subsequently renamed Caesars Entertainment. Mr. Davis has been a CFA charter holder since 2000 and obtained a bachelor of arts degree from Brown University.

Ms. Stephanie Cheung is our executive vice president and chief legal officer and she was appointed to her current role in December 2008. Prior to that, she held the title of general counsel from November 2006, when

 

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she joined our Company. She has acted as the secretary to our board since she joined our Company. Prior to joining us, Ms. Cheung practiced law with various international law firms in Hong Kong, Singapore and Toronto. Ms. Cheung graduated with a bachelor of laws degree from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1986 and a master’s degree in business administration from York University in 1994. Ms. Cheung is admitted as a solicitor in Ontario, Canada, England and Wales, and Hong Kong and is a member of the Hong Kong Institute of Directors and a fellow of Salzburg Global.

Ms. Akiko Takahashi is our executive vice president and chief human resources/corporate social responsibility officer and she was appointed to her current role in December 2008. Prior to that, she held the title group human resources director from December 2006, when she joined our Company. Prior to joining us, Ms. Takahashi worked as a consultant in her own consultancy company from 2003 to 2006 where she conducted “C-level” executive searches for clients and assisted with brand/service culture alignment for a luxury hotel in New York City and where her last engagement prior to joining our Company was to lead the human resources integration for the largest international hospitality joint venture in Japan between InterContinental Hotels Group and ANA Hotels. She was the global group director of human resources for Shangri-la Hotels and Resorts, an international luxury hotel group headquartered in Hong Kong, from 1995 to 2003. Between 1993 and 1995, she was the senior vice president of human resources and service quality for Bank of America, Hawaii, FSB. She served as regional human resources manager for Sheraton Hotels Hawaii / Japan from 1985 to 1993. She started her hospitality career as a training manager for Halekulani Hotel. She began her career in the fashion luxury retail industry in merchandising, operations, training and human resources. Ms. Takahashi attended the University of Hawaii.

Management Structure

Mr. Ho, our chairman and chief executive officer, is responsible for the day-to-day operational leadership of our Company. Our management structure includes an executive committee which is composed of our executive officers and each of our property presidents and is responsible for formulating business strategies and considering day-to-day operational matters. Our executive officers and property presidents report directly to Mr. Ho.

B. COMPENSATION OF DIRECTORS AND EXECUTIVE OFFICERS

Our directors and executive officers receive compensation in the form of salaries, discretionary bonuses, equity awards, contributions to pension schemes and other benefits. The aggregate amount of compensation paid, and benefits in kind granted, including contingent or deferred compensation accrued for the year, to all the directors and executive officers of our Company as a group, amounted to approximately US$25.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2017.

Bonus Plan

We offer our management employees, including senior executive officers, the ability to participate in our Company’s discretionary annual bonus plan. As part of this plan, employees may receive compensation in addition to their base salary upon satisfactory achievement of certain financial, strategic and individual objectives. Directors, other than Mr. Lawrence Ho, who participates in his capacity as our chief executive officer, are excluded from this plan. The discretionary annual bonus plan is administered at the sole discretion of our Company and our compensation committee.

Equity Awards

On February 10, 2017, we reduced the exercise prices of all outstanding and unexercised options granted prior to January 19, 2017 by approximately US$0.4404 per share (equivalent to approximately

 

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US$1.3212 per ADS) as a result of our declaration of a special dividend in January 2017. Further on March 31, 2017, we reduced the exercise prices of certain share options outstanding as of such date by approximately US$0.3293 per share (equivalent to approximately US$0.988 per ADS) reflecting the effect of the prior special dividends. The adjustments to the option exercise prices in 2017 were made as required by our 2006 Share Incentive Plan and 2011 Share Incentive Plan.

On March 31, 2017, we granted share options to acquire 1,839,924 of our ordinary shares pursuant to the 2011 Share Incentive Plan to directors and senior executive officers of our Company with exercise prices of US$6.18 per share and 899,325 restricted shares with grant date fair value (closing price of the grant date) at US$6.18 per share. The options expire ten years from the date of grant. We will issue ordinary shares to such grantees upon vesting of restricted shares at par value.

On September 8, 2017, we granted share options to acquire 34,518 of our ordinary shares pursuant to the 2011 Share Incentive Plan to directors and senior executive officers of our Company with exercise prices of US$7.61 per share and 192,258 restricted shares with grant date fair value (closing price of the grant date) at US$7.61 per share. The options expire ten years from the date of grant. We will issue ordinary shares to such grantees upon vesting of restricted shares at par value.

On March 16, 2018, we granted share options to acquire 36,225 of our ordinary shares pursuant to the 2011 Share Incentive Plan to a director and senior executive officers of our Company with exercise prices of US$9.15 per share and 27,663 restricted shares with grant date fair value (closing price of the grant date) at US$9.15 per share. The options expire ten years from the date of grant. We will issue ordinary shares to such grantees upon vesting of restricted shares at par value.

On March 29, 2018, we granted share options to acquire 1,827,099 of our ordinary shares pursuant to the 2011 Share Incentive Plan to directors and senior executive officers of our Company with exercise prices of US$9.66 per share and 728,292 restricted shares with grant date fair value (closing price of the grant date) at US$9.66 per share. The options expire ten years from the date of grant. We will issue ordinary shares to such grantees upon vesting of restricted shares at par value.

On April 2, 2018, we granted share options to acquire 1,470,000 of our ordinary shares pursuant to the 2011 Share Incentive Plan to a director of our Company with exercise prices of US$9.40 per share. The options expire ten years from the date of grant. We will issue ordinary shares to such grantees upon vesting of restricted shares at par value.

Pension, Retirement or Similar Benefits

For the year ended December 31, 2017, we set aside or accrued approximately US$0.2 million to provide pension, retirement or similar benefits to our senior executive officers. Our directors, other than Mr. Lawrence Ho who participates in his capacity as our chief executive officer, do not participate in such schemes. For a description of the pension scheme in which our senior executive officers in Hong Kong participate, see “— D. Employees.”

C. BOARD PRACTICES

Composition of Board of Directors

Our board consists of six directors, including three directors nominated by Melco International and three independent directors. Nasdaq Stock Market Rule 5605(b)(1) generally requires that a majority of an issuer’s board of directors must consist of independent directors, but provides for certain phase-in periods under Nasdaq Stock Market Rule 5615(c)(3). However, Nasdaq Stock Market Rule 5615(a)(3) permits foreign private

 

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issuers like us to follow “home country practice” in certain corporate governance matters. Walkers, our Cayman Islands counsel, has provided a letter to Nasdaq certifying that under the Companies Law (as amended) of the Cayman Islands, we are not required to have a majority of independent directors serving on our board. We rely on this “home country practice” exception and do not have a majority of independent directors serving on our board.

Duties of Directors

Under Cayman Islands law, our directors have a fiduciary duty to act honestly, in good faith and with a view to our best interests. Our directors also have a duty to exercise the skill they actually possess and such care and diligence that a reasonably prudent person would exercise in comparable circumstances. In fulfilling their duty of care to us, our directors must ensure compliance with our memorandum and articles of association, as amended and restated from time to time. An individual shareholder or we, as the Company, have (as applicable) the right to seek damages if a duty owed by our directors is breached.

The functions and powers of our board include, among others:

 

    convening shareholders’ annual general meetings and reporting its work to shareholders at such meetings;

 

    declaring dividends and distributions;

 

    appointing officers and determining the term of office of officers;

 

    exercising the borrowing powers of our Company and mortgaging the property of our Company; and

 

    approving the transfer of shares of our Company, including the registering of such shares in our share register.

Terms of Directors and Executive Officers

Our officers are elected by and serve at the discretion of the board. Our directors are not subject to a term of office and hold office until such time as they are removed from office by special resolution or the unanimous written resolution of all shareholders. A director will be removed from office automatically if, among other things, the director (i) becomes bankrupt or makes any arrangement or composition with his creditors; or (ii) dies or is found by our Company to be or becomes of unsound mind. In addition, the service agreements between us and our directors do not provide benefits upon termination of their services.

Committees of the Board of Directors

Our board established an audit committee, a compensation committee and a nominating and corporate governance committee in December 2006. Our audit committee was renamed our audit and risk committee on August 3, 2016. Each committee has its defined scope of duties and terms of reference within its own charter, which empowers the committee members to make decisions on certain matters. The charters of these board committees were adopted by our board on November 28, 2006 and have been amended and restated on several occasions, with the latest versions of each of the nominating and corporate governance committee charter and the compensation committee charter adopted on March 29, 2017 and the latest version of the audit and risk committee charter adopted on March 21, 2018. These charters are found on our website. Each of these committees consists entirely of directors whom our board has determined to be independent under the “independence” requirements of the Nasdaq corporate governance rules. The current membership of these three committees and summary of its respective charter are provided below.

Audit and Risk Committee

Our audit and risk committee consists of Messrs. Thomas Jefferson Wu, Alec Yiu Wa Tsui and John William Crawford, and is chaired by Mr. Crawford. Each of the committee members satisfies the “independence”

 

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requirements of Rule 10A-3 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, or the Exchange Act. We believe that Mr. Crawford qualifies as an “audit committee financial expert” as defined in Item 16A of Form 20-F. The purpose of the committee is to assist our board in overseeing and monitoring:

 

    the audits of the financial statements of our Company;

 

    the qualifications and independence of our independent auditors;

 

    the performance of our independent auditors;

 

    the account and financial reporting processes of our Company and the integrity of our systems of internal accounting and financial controls;

 

    legal and regulatory issues relating to the financial statements of our Company, including the oversight of the independent auditor, the review of the financial statements and related material, the internal audit process and the procedure for receiving complaints regarding accounting, internal accounting controls, auditing or other related matters;

 

    the disclosure, in accordance with our relevant policies, of any material information regarding the quality or integrity of our financial statements, which is brought to its attention by our disclosure committee;

 

    the integrity and effectiveness of our internal audit function; and

 

    the risk management policies, procedures and practices.

The duties of the committee include:

 

    reviewing and recommending to our board for approval, the appointment, re-appointment or removal of the independent auditor, after considering its annual performance evaluation of the independent auditor and after considering a tendering process for the appointment of the independent auditor every five years;

 

    approving the remuneration and terms of engagement of the independent auditor and pre-approving all auditing and non-auditing services permitted to be performed by our independent auditors;

 

    at least annually, obtaining a written report from our independent auditor describing matters relating to its independence and quality control procedures;

 

    discussing with our independent auditor and our management, among other things, the audits of the financial statements, including whether any material information brought to their attention should be disclosed, issues regarding accounting and auditing principles and practices and the management’s internal control report;

 

    reviewing and recommending the financial statements to our disclosure committee for inclusion within our quarterly earnings releases and to our board for inclusion in our annual reports;

 

    approving all material related party transactions brought to its attention, without further approval of our board;

 

    establishing and overseeing procedures for the handling of complaints and whistleblowing;

 

    approving the internal audit charter and annual audit plans, and undertaking an annual performance evaluation of the internal audit function;

 

    assessing Chief Risk Officer and senior management’s policies and procedures to identify, accept, mitigate, allocate or otherwise manage various types of risks presented by management, and making recommendations with respect to our risk management process for the board’s approval;

 

    reviewing our financial controls, internal control and risk management systems, and discussing with our management the system of internal control and ensuring that our management has discharged its duty to have an effective internal control system including the adequacy of resources, the qualifications and experience of our accounting and financial staff, and their training programs and budget;

 

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    together with our board, evaluating the performance of the audit and risk committee on an annual basis;

 

    assessing the adequacy of its charter; and

 

    co-operating with the other board committees in any areas of overlapping responsibilities.

Compensation Committee

Our compensation committee consists of Messrs. Thomas Jefferson Wu, Alec Yiu Wa Tsui and John William Crawford, and is chaired by Mr. Wu. The purpose of the committee is to discharge the responsibilities of the board relating to compensation of our executives, including by designing (in consultation with management and our board), recommending to our board for approval, and evaluating the executive and director compensation plans, policies and programs of our Company.

Members of this committee are not prohibited from direct involvement in determining their own compensation. Our chief executive officer may not be present at any compensation committee meeting during which his compensation is deliberated.

The duties of the committee include:

 

    overseeing the development and implementation of compensation programs in consultation with our management;

 

    at least annually, making recommendations to our board with respect to the compensation arrangements for our non-executive directors, and approving compensation arrangements for our executive director and executive officers, including the chief executive officer;

 

    at least annually, reviewing and approving our general compensation scheme, incentive compensation plans and equity-based plans, and overseeing the administration of these plans and discharging any responsibilities imposed on the compensation committee by any of these plans;

 

    reviewing and approving the compensation payable to our executive director and executive officers in connection with any loss or termination of their office or appointment;

 

    reviewing and recommending any benefits in kind received by any director or approving executive officer where such benefits are not provided for under the relevant employment terms;

 

    reviewing executive officer and director indemnification and insurance matters;

 

    overseeing our regulatory compliance with respect to compensation matters, including our policies on restrictions on compensation plans and loans to officers;

 

    together with the board, evaluating the performance of the compensation committee on an annual basis;

 

    assessing the adequacy of its charter; and

 

    co-operating with the other board committees in any areas of overlapping responsibilities.

Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee

Our nominating and corporate governance committee consists of Messrs. Thomas Jefferson Wu, Alec Yiu Wa Tsui and John William Crawford, and is chaired by Mr. Tsui. The purpose of the committee is to assist our board in discharging its responsibilities regarding:

 

    the identification of qualified candidates to become members and chairs of the board committees and to fill any such vacancies, and reviewing the appropriateness of the continued service of directors;

 

    ensuring that our board meets the criteria for independence under the Nasdaq corporate governance rules and nominating directors who meet such independence criteria;

 

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    oversight of our compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, in particular the legal and regulatory requirements of Macau (including the relevant laws related to the gaming industry), the Cayman Islands, the SEC and Nasdaq;

 

    the development and recommendation to our board of a set of corporate governance principles applicable to our Company; and

 

    the disclosure, in accordance with our relevant policies, of any material information (other than that regarding the quality or integrity of our financial statements), which is brought to its attention by the disclosure committee.

The duties of the committee include:

 

    making recommendations to our board for its approval, the appointment or re-appointment of any members of our board and the chairs and members of its committees, including evaluating any succession planning;

 

    reviewing on an annual basis the appropriate skills, knowledge and characteristics required of board members and of the committees of our board, and making any recommendations to improve the performance of our board and its committees;

 

    developing and recommending to our board such policies and procedures with respect to nomination or appointment of members of our board and chairs and members of its committees or other corporate governance matters as may be required pursuant to any SEC or Nasdaq rules, or otherwise considered desirable and appropriate;

 

    developing a set of corporate governance principles and reviewing such principles at least annually;

 

    deciding whether any material information (other than that regarding the quality or integrity of our financial statements), which is brought to its attention by the disclosure committee, should be disclosed;

 

    reviewing and monitoring the training and continuous professional development of our directors and senior management;

 

    developing, reviewing and monitoring the code of conduct and compliance manual applicable to employees and directors;

 

    together with the board, evaluating the performance of the committee on an annual basis;

 

    assessing the adequacy of its charter; and

 

    co-operating with the other board committees in any areas of overlapping responsibilities.

Employment Agreements

We have entered into an employment agreement with each of our executive officers. The terms of the employment agreements are substantially similar for each executive officer, except as noted below. We may terminate an executive officer’s employment for cause, at any time, without advance notice, for certain acts of the officer, including, but not limited to, a serious criminal act, willful misconduct to our detriment or a failure to perform agreed duties. Furthermore, either we or an executive officer may terminate employment at any time without cause upon advance written notice to the other party. Except in the case of Mr. Lawrence Yau Lung Ho, upon notice to terminate employment from either the executive officer or our Company, our Company may limit the executive officer’s services for a period until the termination of employment. Each executive officer (or his estate, as applicable) is entitled to accrued amounts in relation to such executive officer’s employment with us upon termination due to disability or death. We will indemnify an executive officer for his or her losses based on or related to his or her acts and decisions made in the course of his or her performance of duties within the scope of his or her employment.

 

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Each executive officer has agreed to hold, both during and after the termination of his or her employment agreement, in strict confidence and not to use, except as required in the performance of his or her duties in connection with the employment or as compelled by law, any of our or our customers’ confidential information or trade secrets. Each executive officer also agrees to comply with all material applicable laws and regulations related to his or her responsibilities at our Company as well as all material written corporate and business policies and procedures of our Company.

Each executive officer is prohibited from gambling at any of our Company’s facilities during the term of his or her employment and six months following the termination of such employment agreement.

Each executive officer has agreed to be bound by non-competition and non-solicitation restrictions during the term of his or her employment and for certain periods following the termination of such employment agreement. Specifically, each executive officer has agreed not to (i) assume employment with or provide services as a director for any of our competitors who operate in a restricted area for six months following termination of employment; (ii) solicit or seek any business orders from our customers for one year following termination of employment; or (iii) seek directly or indirectly, to solicit the services of any of our employees for one year following termination of employment. The restricted area is defined as Hong Kong, Macau and any other country or region in which our Company operates or intends to operate.

D. EMPLOYEES

Employees

We had 19,609, 20,248 and 21,414 employees as of December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively. The following table sets forth the number of employees categorized by the areas of operations and as a percentage of our workforce as of December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015. Staff remuneration packages are determined taking into account market conditions and the performance of the individuals concerned, and are subject to review from time to time.

 

     As of December 31,  
     2017     2016     2015  
     Number of
Employees
     Percentage
of Total
    Number of
Employees
     Percentage
of Total
    Number of
Employees
     Percentage
of Total
 

Mocha Clubs

     747        3.8     704        3.5     703        3.3

Altira Macau

     1,610        8.2     1,722        8.5     1,929        9.0

City of Dreams

     7,202        36.7     7,933        39.2     8,250        38.5

Corporate and centralized services

     636        3.2     717        3.5     804        3.8

Studio City

     4,520        23.1     4,807        23.7     5,228        24.4

City of Dreams Manila

     4,894        25.0     4,365        21.6     4,500        21.0
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total

     19,609        100.0     20,248        100.0     21,414        100.0
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

None of our employees are members of any labor union and we are not party to any collective bargaining or similar agreement with our employees

We have implemented a number of human resource initiatives over recent years for the benefit of our employees and their families. These initiatives include a unique in-house learning academy, an on-site high school diploma program and Diploma in Casino Management program (a collaboration with The University of Macau), the Diploma in Hospitality Management (a collaboration with the Institute for Tourism Studies), scholarship awards, as well as fast track promotion training initiatives. In September 2015, we launched the Melco You-niversity program with the Edinburgh Napier University, an overseas institution based in the United Kingdom which was rated ‘Excellent’ in Eduniversal 2014 ranking, to bring a bachelor degree program in-house.

 

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E. SHARE OWNERSHIP

Share Ownership of Directors and Members of Senior Management

The following table sets forth the beneficial interest of each director and executive officer in our ordinary shares as of April 11, 2018.

 

Name

   Number of
ordinary shares
     Approximate
percentage of
shareholding(1)
 

Lawrence Yau Lung Ho

     757,229,043 (2)        51.06%  
     11,693,009 (3)        0.79%  

Clarence Yuk Man Chung

     *        *  

Evan Andrew Winkler

     *        *