The Russian casino resort majority-owned by Lawrence Ho Yau Lung’s firm Summit Ascent Holdings Ltd is to open doors by August 28, according to a filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
Construction of the first phase of the casino resort “will be completed on or around June 30, 2015,” Summit Ascent said on Monday.
The project – part of what the local authorities call the Integrated Entertainment Zone of the Primorye Region, near Vladivostok in the Russian Far East – is expected to have 119 hotel rooms, 800 slot machines, 25 VIP gaming tables, 15 mass-market baccarat tables and 25 mass-market tables providing other table games.
Summit Ascent said that its Russian unit has been informed that the government inspection and commissioning process “takes between six to eights weeks following completion of construction”.
As a result, the company said it is now targeting to open the first phase of the casino resort – dubbed ‘Tigre de Cristal’ – “on or before August 28, 2015”.
The project has already bought casino currency from another firm connected to Mr Ho.
On Monday, Summit Ascent said that all key management positions related to the casino, hotel and food and beverage outlets for the Russian casino project “have been filled and are on board”. Chief operating officer and co-general director Craig Ballantyne will oversee the property’s daily operations.
“Nearly 200 trainee dealers have been hired and are currently undergoing dealer training,” it added.
Summit Ascent said the Russian subsidiary expects to have sufficient staff hired and trained – approximately 700 people – for the opening in August. The number of staff should increase to 1,100 “when fully ramped up,” it added.
The firm said it has sufficient internal cash resources to complete the project without resorting to external funding.
The development is within a three-hour flight radius of what the firm calls the “target feeder markets” of Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning provinces in northeastern China, as well as South Korea and Japan.
The casino resort had been due to open in April, according to a separate filing by Summit Ascent on September 16 last year. The opening was delayed as the company said it encountered “certain unexpected challenges”.
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”China has been strengthening the control over capital flow, and the impact of that has already been reflected [on Macau’s gaming revenue trend]. There should not be any bigger impact from the new… legislation [on the mainland] … on the gaming revenue trend here”
Wilfred Wong Ying Wai
President of Macau casino operator Sands China