Macau casino junket king invests in billion-dollar resort in Vietnam

By Ha Phuong   September 4, 2017 | 03:09 pm GMT+7

A $4 billion integrated resort will soon spring up in Hoi An, a UNESCO-listed town in central Vietnam. 

Suncity Group, Macau’s biggest junket operator, has just poured billions of dollars to build a resort in Hoi An, Bloomberg reported.

The Macau's junket king partnered with the Vietnam-based closed end fund, VinaCapital and Hong Kong’s conglomerate company Chow Tai Fook to build a $4 billion integrated resort in Hoi An, scheduled to open in 2019.

Junket operators, also known as VIP room promoters, act as facilitators for casinos, guaranteeing a certain revenue from wealthy gamblers, who are in turn lured with free accomodation and travel. 

The move is part of Suncity Group’s international plans to own stakes in casinos and bid on contracts to manage others’ casinos.

"As a junket operator, we don’t have enough chips to play the game even in Macau," said Andrew Lo, executive director of Suncity Group Holdings Ltd.

"In the future, if we own the integrated resorts, we have golf courses, swimming pools and restaurants. Our clients will stick with us more," he added.

With about 30 gaming facilities, Vietnam could generate as much as $1.2 billion in gross gaming revenue each year, according to a Grant Govertsen, an analyst with Macau-based Union Gaming Securities Asia.

While according to Forbes magazine, Vietnam's recent eight licensed casinos, mostly small, generate an estimated $300 million in gaming revenue annually.

Vietnam lifted the casino ban for locals at the beginning of this year. Accordingly, locals aged over 21 with a monthly income of at least VND10 million ($445) are allowed to enter local casinos from mid-March under a three-year pilot program.

After Vietnam, Japan will be the next destination of Suncity Group. 

 
 
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