Major Macau gambling junket investor Suncity Group has told GGRAsia that its plans to launch new VIP clubs in Macau and overseas for this year “remain unchanged”.
It took the bullish view despite the current novel coronavirus health crisis – a disease now known as Covid-19 – which has prompted the mainland China authorities to severely restrict outbound travel of residents and has led several Asian countries neighbouring China to put either entry or quarantine restrictions on travellers from mainland China; and in some cases on travellers from Hong Kong and Macau.
“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,” a spokesperson from Suncity Group noted to us in emailed remarks on Tuesday.
Regarding the impact of the 15-day shutdown of Macau casinos that started at midnight on February 4 and is due to run until February 19 inclusive, Suncity Group told us: “Since we only have full data for January only, the actual impact we are still estimating for both Macau and overseas.”
The junket firm further confirmed that – at the current stage – it still planned new overseas VIP gaming clubs at the Hoiana casino resort in Vietnam, and at the Tigre de Cristal casino resort near Vladivostok, in the Russian Far East.
Hong Kong-listed Suncity Group Holdings Ltd is due to manage gaming at Hoiana, located in Quang Nam province on Vietnam’s central coast, according to previous company filings. The listed entity is controlled by Alvin Chau Cheok Wa, boss of the privately-held junket business Suncity Group.
Suncity Group Holdings is a major investor in the Hoiana casino resort scheme. In emailed remarks made last week, the Suncity brand noted that the coronavirus health alert should not adversely affect the “pre-soft opening” of Hoiana, provided the local licence could be obtained “on time”. The “pre-soft opening” stage, included having ready “part of the hotel room” accommodation and the “casino operation”, said the brand.
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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