Hong Kong-listed Summit Ascent Holdings Ltd says that the Tigre de Cristal casino resort (pictured) – in which it has a lead stake – has been authorised to resume operations starting today (July 16). Gaming at the property had been temporarily suspended since March 28.
Tigre de Cristal is located in the Primorye Integrated Entertainment Zone near the Russian Pacific port city of Vladivostok, in Primorsky Krai. Summit Ascent is the lead promoter of Tigre de Cristal, with a 60-percent stake in the property’s operator Oriental Regent Ltd.
Hong Kong-listed Suncity Group Holdings Ltd is the largest shareholder of Summit Ascent. The firm is in the process of increasing its stake in the company. Suncity Group Holdings is controlled by Macau junket boss Alvin Chau Cheok Wa.
“The Governor of Primorsky Krai has agreed that Tigre de Cristal… is allowed to be reopened for business from July 16, 2020 onwards,” said Summit Ascent in a filing on Wednesday.
“The gaming areas, the hotel and other amenities will be permitted to resume operations according to respective measures recommended by the Russian government,” added the firm.
The company noted that, as Russia’s borders “are still not yet fully opened”, the group would continue to focus on “the local market”.
Summit Ascent stated that, “by allowing Tigre de Cristal to resume business earlier than expected, the group views the reopening as accretive to the group’s business.”
The firm said that, since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, it had “rolled out stringent cost controls measures, such as offsetting unused annual leave entitlements, unpaid leaves, cutting travel expenses and renegotiating contracts with subcontractors, etc.”
Summit Ascent stressed in its filing that it had been “trying its best” to support the Russian government’s call to maintain local employment amid the economic crisis linked to the pandemic. “As of today, the group has not laid off any employees during this Covid-19 crisis,” said the company.
The reopening of Tigre de Cristal had not “only allowed employees to go back to work, it has also enabled the upgrade works of Tigre de Cristal to continue,” said the firm. The latter is to include a new Suncity VIP gambling room, Korean and Chinese restaurants and an addition of approximately 30 hotel rooms to the property, according to the filing.
“The upgrade is expected to be ready once the pandemic is settled,” said Summit Ascent.
Summit Ascent reported a profit of HKD82.0 million (US$10.6 million) for calendar year 2019, compared to a profit of approximately HKD7.6 million a year earlier.
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