Pandemic? What pandemic? Suncity Group Holdings is showing no indication of slowing down its expansion plans in tandem, announcing an ambitious range of targets for 2021, and we’ve got the story for you this morning. And while no one can gainsay the heavy impact of Covid-19 in South Korea right now, Paradise Co. has turned in some unexpectedly strong December sales figures. We also turn our gaze to Entertainment City in Manila, asking if the number of IRs and casinos might be reaching the limit. Finally, our Nippon Weekly considers the impact of MGM’s increased focus on digital gaming for the future of its Osaka bid and for Japan IRs more generally.
First, the news
- Suncity expansion plans to fire ahead
- Snow Lake Capital urges MGM to sell 20% of its China business
- Macau extends quarantine to Shijiazhuang/Liaoning
- DICJ deputy director steps down, resumes advisory role
- David Beckham applies for trademark protection in Macau
- Paradise Co. turns in unexpectedly strong December sales
- DoF to stop collecting POGO franchise tax after SC ruling
- PAGCOR dividends for 2020 reach US$378 million
- Yokohama City Council begins deliberations on IR referendum
- Jonathan Halkyard appointed CFO of MGM Resorts
- Wynn CEO Maddox, two other execs to take temporary pay cut
- Malaysian government ups special lottery draws to 22
What you need to know
While the pandemic may have brought tourism to a standstill, Suncity Group Holdings is showing no indication of slowing down its expansion plans in tandem, announcing an ambitious range of targets for 2021. The Hong Kong-listed company is pushing to become one of Asia’s leading tourism and integrated resort companies. In its outlook for the coming year, it has detailed plans to begin the next stage in expansion of several key projects as well as revealing new developments.
Paradise Co. turned in a surprise on Wednesday by reporting much stronger December sales figures than local conditions would seem to have permitted, rocketed upward by some eye-popping revenue numbers from its Walkerhill casino. Compared to the November figure, Paradise Co.’s group-wide sales were up 331 percent to over KRW42.2 billion (US$38.9 million). While that was an impressive performance in the year of the pandemic, it still was down 39.4 percent year-on-year.
As Japan sinks into a deeper crisis over the Covid-19 pandemic, it would be natural that it might be overlooked. Indeed, the sensitivity of Japanese policymakers to overseas developments is often tenuous at best. But for the future of Japanese IRs generally—and for Osaka most specifically—stakeholders should be quaking with alarm over the most recent headlines regarding MGM Resorts.
Operators in Entertainment City had already begun to complain about the impact of rising competition on their margins even prior to the Covid-19 crisis. Now, with the outlook highly uncertain due to border closures and the erosion of the VIP sector, they may have to contend with three new developments pressing ahead. The Westside City project, which has now come under the control of Suncity Holdings Group, was always on the cards and is progressing, with the local unit this week announcing it had raised PHP12.9 billion ($268.6 million) to finance development.