Wynn Macau reached an agreement with Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN) — its US-based parent — whereby the Chinese gaming entity’s licensing obligations to the Las Vegas company will be capped at $74.5 million.
The accord pertains to the Macau operator’s rights to use Wynn intellectual property, including logos, trademarks and related fare. In the world’s largest casino hub, Wynn Macau runs its eponymous venue and Wynn Palace.
The Annual Cap was determined after arm’s length negotiations between the parties with reference to (i) the Formula; (ii) the historical amounts paid by the Group for the licensing of WRL’s IPs; and (iii) the anticipated business and financial performance of the Group for the year ending 31 December 2022,” said Wynn Macau in a regulatory filing with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKSE).
As of mid-June, Las Vegas-based Wynn Resorts owns approximately 72% of the issued share capital of Wynn Macau.
Giving Wynn Macau a Break
Capping the intellectual property fees Wynn Macau pays to its parent company comes as Macau concessionaires are coming off the worst monthly gross gaming revenue (GGR) showing of 2022 and as casinos there are essentially open in name only as 90% of staff were recently sent home owing to a COVID-19 outbreak.
In other words, like the other Macau concessionaires, Wynn Macau could use a financial break here and there. Last month, Wynn loaned its Macau operation $500 million. Wynn is providing its Macau arm with the credit facility to support “potential future working capital and other funding needs, if necessary.”
Additionally, the cap on licensing fees saves Wynn Macau some cash relative to what it paid in 2019.
“For the years ended 31 December 2019, 2020 and 2021, the amounts paid by the Group under the Intellectual Property License Agreements amounted to US$168.2 million (equivalent to approximately HK$1,318.1 million), US$39.9 million (equivalent to approximately HK$309.4 million) and US$49.6 million (equivalent to approximately HK$385.2 million), respectively,” according to the HKSE filing.
The limit on intellectual property costs is being set by Wynn to comply with Hong Kong listing rules.
Licensing Agreements Common in Gaming Industry
For gaming operators with strong brand recognition, of which Wynn is one, licensing agreements are common and that’s particularly true in Macau where Wynn is synonymous with plush integrated resorts and for luring VIP bettors.
Last month, MGM China reached an agreement MGM Resorts International (NYSE:MGM) to continue using one of the gaming industry’s most iconic brands. MGM China operates two casino-hotels in Macau.
Additionally, both Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts license their names for use by non-gaming hotels around the world.
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