Macau | Suncity forms consortium in Japan for lR licence bid - gaming intelligence service

Leading Macau junket operator Suncity announces potential bid for Japan licence by forming consortium.

Macau (MNA) – Suncity Group Holdings Limited, Macau’s leading junket operator, has reportedly formed a consortium with Japanese companies to study a potential bid for a gaming licence in Japan, confirming it has found partners in the country, although refusing to identify them.

When Suncity first announced its intention to bid in September 2017 the company was still looking for partners in the country.

The new information was provided by Asian Gaming Brief (AGB) in an interview with Suncity executive Andrew Ho during the G2E Asia 2018 Conference this week, in which Ho confirmed that they have now found partners and that any potential investment will depend upon the location of the resort and final legislation.

“A committee asked me what I am going to invest. I said if you give me a big plot of land in front of the Palace I’m going to invest $50 billion, if they give me a remote island I may consider $500 million,” Mr. Ho was quoted as saying.

While the Japanese market is considered attractive, Ho added that if tax rates were too high he would consider investing in smaller Asian markets.

The IR Implementation Bill in Japan is still in process – although some suggested measures such as a 3 per cent cap on casino floor sizes and high taxes raise concerns with Ho.

The bill includes three integrated resorts in approved locations, limits on Japanese residents’ visits to a total of three per week and ten per month, and an entry fee of 6,000 yen (MOP437.45) for locals.

Suncity has been attempting to diversify its business model by buying bigger stakes in casinos in countries like Vietnam, where the company has bought a 34 per cent stake in an integrated resort for HK$600 million.

[Edited by Sheyla Zandonai]