Leading Macau gambling junket investor Tak Chun Group has outlined a plan to explore and expand into new markets.
At the “grand opening” on Monday of the MGM Cotai Tak Chun VIP Club, a VIP gaming room at the MGM Cotai casino resort in Macau, Tak Chun Group chief executive Levo Chan said that launch was part of a broader strategy to take his company into new markets.
“In the coming year we plan to actively tap into the overseas markets by identifying new business locations, keep on expanding our empire and also enhance our VIP services and facilities in order to provide unparalleled, bespoke treatment to our VIP guests,” Mr Chan said in prepared comments in a press release issued afterwards.
Tak Chun Group said its MGM Cotai venue – which opened to business on November 1 – was responding to customer demand in the VIP segment in Macau, and to competition among casino promoters for the business of such players. That was notwithstanding a number of reports by investment analysts predicting a slowdown in consumer demand for Macau gambling in the fourth quarter – especially in the high-roller segment – and even a possible low double-digit contraction in Macau VIP gross gaming revenue in 2019.
The MGM Cotai Tak Chun VIP Club is the 17th VIP club operated in the city by the casino promoter. Earlier this year Tak Chun expanded its VIP Clubs at the StarWorld and Wynn Macau casino resorts, resorts operated respectively by Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd and Wynn Macau Ltd.
In September, Tak Chun Group chief Financial Officer K.H. Tsang said there would be no further VIP rooms opened outside Macau this year. However, he said the junket brand was discussing opening venues in places as far away as Cyprus and South Africa.
The growth of Tak Chun has been strong this year according to commentary from the brand. Its VIP gaming business was steady until September, and the company refrained from tightening the terms of credit it offers players. Tighter credit conditions are correlated with downturns in VIP play due to economics or politics, such as the mainland Chinese campaign against graft.
“We’re talking a growth of over 30 percent year-on-year, which is higher than the industry’s average,” Mr Tsang said.
Last week Mr Chan told a session at the MGS Entertainment Show 2018, an exhibition of the wares of suppliers of equipment to the casino industry, that stable aggregate VIP gaming earnings were likely in 2019. “For next year, it would already be great if VIP business growth could plateau,” Mr Chan said.
The opening celebration on Monday was attended by MGM China’s chief operating officer of Gaming John Shigley and MGM Asia-Pacific executive vice-president Kenneth Fong.
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Aggregate number of visitor arrivals to Macau in October