A casino resort scheme being developed in Van Don district, in Vietnam’s Quang Ninh province, is tentatively scheduled to open on March 31, 2019, announced one of the service providers to the project.
“The project owner… anticipate[s] that the opening date of the project will be March 31, 2019 or another date which shall be prior noticed by the project owner,” Hong Kong-listed Suncity Group Holdings Ltd said in a Friday announcement.
The group is chaired by Alvin Chau Cheok Wa (pictured). The listed entity does not currently have in its portfolio any gaming-related assets or any of the Macau junket-related businesses of privately-held Suncity Group. The latter is also chaired by Mr Chau.
The Van Don casino property is being promoted by Van Don Sun Joint Stock Co.
The announcement of the opening date was included in a filing about an agreement signed by the promoter of the Van Don scheme and a Macau-incorporated subsidiary of Suncity Group Holdings, called Suncity Group Management and Consultancy (Van Don) Ltd. The latter is to provide “technical services” related to the opening of the Vietnam property.
“The entering into of the technical services agreement represents the first step of the group to provide consultancy, advisory and technical services for large scale resorts with gaming and entertainment facilities,” Suncity Group Holdings said.
It added: “The company will continue to expand its business scope in order to maximise returns for its shareholders.”
Suncity Group Holdings said its subsidiary would be paid US$500,000 – divided into two payments – for its services. If the agreement is extended beyond April 2018, Suncity Group Management and Consultancy will be entitled to a monthly fee of US$41,667, according to Friday’s filing.
Suncity Group Holdings said in July that it would acquire a 34-percent stake in a casino project in Vietnam’s Hoi An region for a total consideration of HKD600 million (US$76.8 million).
According to an August note from brokerage Union Gaming Securities Asia Ltd, Vietnam’s casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) nationally currently is worth between US$800 million and US$1.2 billion annually. Play by locals could help to increase annual GGR, the institution said in the note.
The Vietnamese government published in January a decree that paves the way for selected domestic casinos to accept bets from Vietnamese gamblers, for a trial three-year period. There has been no official announcement from the Vietnam government regarding the locations chosen for such an experiment.
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”Given that the blanket casino closure [in Macau due to Typhoon Mangkhut] happened on an all-important weekend day… we expect that somewhere between MOP1.1 billion [US$136.2 million] and MOP1.5 billion in GGR will be lost”
Analyst at Union Gaming Securities Asia