Macau’s casino scene hasn’t gotten off to a great start this year, with gross gaming revenue (GGR) down compared to the same period last year. The rest of 2019 doesn’t look too much better, either, with analysts expecting either flat or negative growth. However, this isn’t stopping Suncity Group, long involved in Macau’s junket operations, from wanting to grab a piece of the action. The company has announced that it is considering submitting a bid for a casino concession in 2022.
In an interview with the Lusa news agency out of Portugal, Suncity Chief Investment Officer Andrew Lo Kai Bong stated, “If there is a chance, Suncity Group would love to try to get into the bidding for a concession.” That chance may or may not come, as Macau has yet to decide whether or not to allow additional concessions, a point Lo recognized in the interview. He added, “Up to now, there are some rumours, but we have not yet seen any official news about this.”
All six of the licensed casino operators in Macau will see their concessions expire at about the same time in 2022. There has been talk that the city could allow one or two more concessions to be issued, but city officials have been silent on the topic. Given the saturation in the market currently, bringing in additional casinos most likely would not be in the best interest of Macau’s gaming industry, or of the city’s plans to diversify away from being a gaming-focused tourist destination.
However, Macau Secretary for Economy and Finance Lionel Leong Vai Tac earlier this month hinted toward there possibly being some latitude coming in 2022 when the concessions expire. Instead of granting new casino-only concessions, any new endeavors, if allowed, would have to offer additional non-gaming options in order to be appealing to a wider market.
Suncity doesn’t see a casino operation as detrimental to its current junket relationship with Macau’s casino operators. Lo explained to the media outlet, “We have a good partnership with all the six licensees. As long as we can reach their requirements, which is the minimum rolling per table set by each licensee, I think we still can be in a good shape as a partner.”