Junket operator Suncity Group had hoped that it could be considered for a gaming license in Macau if the city decided to issue additional licenses in 2022. That’s when the current concessions expire and there has been talk that another one or two licenses could possibly be authorized. However, recent accusations that the company has been involved in online gambling could completely jeopardize any chance it might have at securing a license.
GGRAsia reports that it has received several well-placed opinions about the upcoming concession tender and any role Suncity might have in the process. When Chinese media outlet Xinhua published a story earlier this week that the company had been promoting online gaming and proxy gambling outside China, those ambitions suddenly came to a grinding halt.
According to the director of the Gaming Teaching and Research Center at Macao Polytechnic Institute, Wang Changbin, “For sure,” the company’s “chances to be a Macau casino licence bidder would be affected” because the media assertions “create a bad record.”
He added, “Online gaming and promotion of gaming are criminal offences in mainland China, and the government is aware of its negative impact on the economy there and is concerned of how it could result in capital outflow.”
His position was seconded by Brendan Bussmann of Global Market Advisors LLC. He asserts that the media revelation could damage the company’s plans for a concession, explaining that license applicants’ “existing and historical activities in other markets whether that be from a land-based or even online perspective” play a role in the decision-making process. He further stated, “Since Macau opened up casinos beyond the original monopoly, the central government has provided numerous warnings against activities it views are not aligned with the social-economic system.”
Suncity has denied all of the allegations, asserting that it has never been involved in any way with proxy or online gambling. It said in a statement issued earlier this week, “The Company has no possession of any casino and gaming tables, neither does it operate any online gaming business.”
However, it would appear that just the mere suggestion that it could have been is enough to keep it out of the game. Perhaps that was the intention all along.