Hong Kong has received a lot of attention lately, but mostly for negative reasons. The coronavirus proved to be damaging to the local economy and, at the same time, the SAR has had to deal with a push by mainland China to weaken its democratic autonomy. There have been a number of protests and clashes resulting from the mainland’s desire to exert more control over the area, but, in the end, China won. As the dust began to settle, casino junket brand Suncity Group began facing accusations that it had helped the pro-democracy side with financing and rumors surfaced that it was under investigation by Chinese authorities to determine if it did, in fact, have a role in the protests. The company’s CEO, Alvin Chau Cheok Wa, has now spoken up on the issue, denying that the company is being investigated and reassuring its backers and clients that everything is fine.
The decision to release a statement was meant to quell the rumors of an investigation, as well as those that have asserted that Suncity is experiencing losses due to attrition. Social media posts have indicated that some clients had been withdrawing their funds from Suncity, and Chau asserts that the “late rumors about ‘Suncity Group subsidizing Hong Kong rioters’ are extremely absurd and unreasonable.” He added that there was no way the company would ever do anything that would jeopardize the sovereignty of China and its holdings.
Given China’s history of making those who question the country’s authority disappear, Chau wanted to reassure Suncity’s backers and customers that they were well protected, and that no client data had been turned over to the authorities. He explained, “The group has never received any request from overseas or mainland China demanding customer information. Suncity VIP Club has never encountered any leakage of customer information.”
Chau also took some time in statement to address the company’s financial health in an effort to reassure everyone that there’s no risk of it going under. Suncity, like many other gambling-focused companies, has suffered because of COVID-19, but has done well enough the past couple of years that it isn’t overly concerned about any short-term drop in revenue. Chau explained that the company is “undeniably financially robust,” adding, “Suncity VIP Club recognized a total amount of fiscal reserve of HKD10.58 billion [$1.36 billion], the total amount of cash flows in cage to be used in the daily operation of the VIP Club is HKD18.6 billion [$2.39 billion], plus a total deposit of HKD16.5 billion [$2.12 billion] in two Macau banks.”
Because of its substantial cash reserves, Suncity will be able to weather the coronavirus storm, even if it returns for a large second round, according to Chau. The losses seen from February to May were just a minor hiccup, and the company is ready for a stronger future.