Two of Macau’s major gambling junket brands have confirmed to GGRAsia involvement in VIP gaming room operations at the same beachside resort in Sihanoukville, Cambodia.
Privately-held Suncity Group – said by investment analysts to be the largest single contributor to rolling chip volume in the Macau VIP market – told us it was having a soft launch on Tuesday for a new VIP club on the second floor of the Xihu Resort Hotel, a venue with a casino. The high-roller club is branded as “XiGang International Suncity VIP Club”, GGRAsia was told by the junket firm.
A source at another major Macau junket firm, Guangdong Group, confirmed to GGRAsia that it opened a VIP club at the same resort in early April.
Many international media outlets have reported recently on the high level of Chinese investment in Sihanoukville: some of it in general real estate and some of it in gaming operations.
In October, Suncity Group Holdings Ltd – a Hong Kong-listed entity controlled by Alvin Chau Cheok Wa, the boss of the Suncity junket brand – said it had a deal to set up and run a casino at another resort in Sihanoukville. Cambodia does not currently have a gaming law to regulate the sector, although such legislation has been heralded for several years.
In late October, Suncity Group Holdings said in a Hong Kong filing that in its opinion, its pursuit of casino business in Cambodia and in Vietnam would not come into conflict with Hong Kong law. In February this year, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global financial watchdog based in Paris, France, identified Cambodia as one of 12 jurisdictions with “strategic anti money laundering [AML] and combatting the financing of terrorism [CFT] deficiencies”.
The privately-held Suncity Group already has junket operations at NagaWorld, a casino resort in Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh that is run by Hong Kong-listed NagaCorp Ltd. Guangdong Group also has VIP operations there. NagaCorp has previously said that as a listed company it maintains – for due diligence reasons – its own AML monitoring and standards at its Phnom Penh complex.
Regarding the latest foray in to the Cambodian market, the Suncity junket brand told us the official launch of its Xihu Resort Hotel business would be in the summer.
“The grand opening date of ‘XiGang International Suncity VIP Club’ will be June 29,” the firm told us. The brand added its facility would have 20 gaming tables in three salons – with games of baccarat and Texas Hold ‘em Poker available to patrons.
It will be the 14th Suncity Group VIP gaming club outside Macau, according to the brand. In addition, the brand also controls the Poker King Club, a business division that promotes poker. It has operations outside Macau, although a tournament the poker brand was due to hold recently in Macau was cancelled at short notice.
Guangdong Group hosts 16 gaming tables for its VIP operation at Xihu Resort, the source noted to us.
Guangdong Group has run its VIP gaming service at Naga 2 at NagaWorld under a partnership with other investors since the beginning of this year. Suncity Group had opened VIP facilities at Naga 2 in the first quarter of 2018.
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”Although it is difficult to estimate the [novel coronavirus] epidemic situation, and when the ban on entry in various countries will end, our plans to open new VIP clubs in Macau and overseas this year remain unchanged”
Macau gambling junket investor Suncity Group