CASINO

Suncity expanding clout in Asia with potential casino acquisitions

TAGs: junket operators, suncity group

Hong Kong-listed company Suncity Group Holdings Ltd. is seeking to diversify its business from being the biggest gaming promoter to “pure gaming” by 2020.

Suncity expanding clout in Asia with potential casino acquisitionsGGRAsia reported that Suncity is busy window shopping for casinos in South Korea, the Philippines, Russia and Myanmar, which the company hopes to acquire in the near future as part of its diversification plans.

Suncity, which is considered the biggest junket operator in Asia, is also currently studying how to inject its present business model into its future casino ventures, according to Suncity Executive Director Andrew Lo Kai Bong.

In its 2017 annual report, Suncity presented ongoing projects such as property developments in Shenzhen, part of China’s Guangdong province, and in Anhui province. Suncity also announced plans for another property development in Liaoning province.

Suncity reiterated its commitment to manage a casino resort at Van Don in Vietnam on behalf of third-party investors. But Suncity announced late last month that it had deferred the completion of its acquisition of a 34 percent share in the Hoiana project.

Suncity originally planned to close the HK$600-million (US$76.8-million) Hoiana deal last May 31st but moved the payment deadline to July 31.

Lo attributed the delay to procedures that needed to be completed regarding Hoiana’s phase one land plot.

“It is a vast piece of land of 163 hectares [403 acres], which takes time for the process of obtaining the land certificates for it. But now this process is soon to be over,” Lo said, according to the news outlet.

In 2015, Suncity entered into a co-operation with Chow Tai Fook Group subsidiary Golden Yield Enterprise (GYE) and Vietnam-based Vinacapital to develop the $4 billion integrated resort project in the central province of Quang Nam.

Hoiana’s first phase will include a 445-room hotel, 220 residential apartments operated by Hong Kong’s New World Hotels, a luxury Rosewood resort offering 75 villas and 25 residences, a golf course and a casino.

Gaming analysts noted that Suncity’s transition from an agency to principal model made sense, especially in light of strong VIP trends in Macau and regionally. The only downside that gaming analysts saw was that its transition brought with it risks to Macau, where other casino operators may not wish to employ a junket operated by a direct rival.

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