The grand opening of the under-development Hoiana casino resort in Vietnam will only take place in 2021, with an “exclusive preview” scheduled for this summer. So said the head of a Macau-junket -linked major investor in the project.
“In summer 2020, we will unveil Hoiana Phase 1 for the first time ever in an exclusive preview, with the grand opening now scheduled in 2021,” said Alvin Chau Cheok Wa, chairman of Hong Kong-listed Suncity Group Holdings Ltd, in a press release on the latter’s 2019 annual results.
He stated that the new schedule for the opening of the first phase of the Hoiana casino resort (pictured in an artist’s rendering) was “a consequence of the uncertainties” brought by the Covid-19 crisis. “Suncity’s investment in Vietnam is intended to stay for a very long time,” he added.
Mr Chau is also the boss of Macau VIP gambling junket brand Suncity Group.
The Suncity brand is one of the investors in the Hoiana casino scheme, and the group’s listed company is to manage casino operations there, according to previous filings. Hoiana has been described in press releases related to the project as a US$4-billion, multi-phase development.
Suncity Group had said in a press release in late December that it expected the first phase of Hoiana, in Quang Nam province on Vietnam’s central coast, to be completed and open within the first quarter this year.
The property will not – initially at least – have permission from the national government to take part in an industry pilot scheme whereby economically-qualified Vietnamese players can gamble at new large-scale resorts.
Suncity Group Holdings posted a loss of CNY1.48 billion (US$208.5 million) for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019, compared to a CNY1.46-billion loss recorded in the previous year. The firm said the loss for calendar year 2019 was partially attributable to a loss of approximately RMB521.7 million in respect of a change in fair value of derivative financial instruments; and a loss on deemed disposal of subsidiaries of approximately RMB152.0 million.
Suncity Group Holdings offers hotel and casino resort consultancy services to developments in multiple Asian jurisdictions. The firm said in its annual results announcement release it was “actively exploring other overseas markets globally including Japan and South Korea.”
In South Korea, Suncity Group Holdings signed a non-legally binding memorandum of understanding with Paradise Co Ltd – n operator in South Korea of foreigner-only casinos in the country – for potential cooperation in Busan. In Japan, the firm purchased in 2019 a piece of land near the airport serving the Miyako Islands, Okinawa, and has plans to develop there 40 villas and 100 hotel rooms. The Suncity brand has also shown interest in developing a casino resort in Japan’s Wakayama prefecture, as part of a first phase of casino liberalisation in the country.
Suncity Group Holdings is also involved in the development of a casino resort project called “Westside City Resorts” in the Philippine capital, Manila. The firm said in its results announcement release that piling works for the project were “ongoing”, adding that a ground-breaking ceremony for the scheme would be held “soon”.
Suncity Group Holdings also has a leading stake in Summit Ascent Holdings Ltd, the promoter of the Tigre de Cristal casino complex in the Russian Far East: Summit Ascent said in a Friday filing that Tigre de Cristal had suspended gaming operations from Saturday (March 28), with the shutdown to run until April 5.
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Partner and director overseeing government affairs at casino industry consultancy Global Market Advisors