Macau junket investor Suncity Group has confirmed to GGRAsia on Friday that it was preparing the launch of new VIP gaming clubs at two separate Cotai casino resorts, respectively the Londoner Macao and Grand Lisboa Palace.
As part of the brand’s plans and to “effectively control operating costs”, Suncity Group said it would “strategically adjust its workforce in order to be prepared for the upcoming opening” of the two VIP clubs. The remarks were in an email reply from the firm’s marketing communications team.
The Londoner Macao – a revamped and rebranded Cotai casino property of Sands China Ltd – had its first-phase launch on February 8, just ahead of the week-long Chinese New Year holiday. Grand Lisboa Palace, the first Cotai foray from Macau casino operator SJM Holdings Ltd, is expected to begin operations “in the first half of 2021”, the firm mentioned in its full-year 2020 results filing this week.
In its Friday email, Suncity Group also said it “has no plan to layoff any staff” from its VIP club operations. But the junket firm did not confirm if it would close any other clubs in Macau under its plan to “adjust” the group’s workforce.
Related changes are “still in initial discussion,” said the company, adding that it was “not convenient” yet to publicly announce the changes.
Deputy chairman of Macau casino operator Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd, Francis Lui Yiu Tung, mentioned on Thursday that the city’s VIP gaming sector is likely to be challenged by a series of legal changes introduced by the mainland China authorities.
The aggregate number of licensed junket operators in Macau was down to only 85 this year, hosting in total “77 gaming rooms and 1,566 gaming tables”, according to information revealed by the Secretary for Economy and Finance in in late January to legislators. The official – also in charge of the oversight of Macau’s gaming sector – noted to legislators at the time that the Covid-19 pandemic had “changed the gaming industry’s structure”, as reflected in the proportion of Macau’s gaming income drawn from VIP play, versus mass-market gaming.