According to reports, the operation of the South Bank Casino in HoiAna has been handed over to Chow Tai Fook, one of the hotel’s developers and owners. Previously, the group had been run by a team run by jailed former Macau junket Chau Cheuk Wa.
2021 will usher in the grand opening of Hoiana Resort. The multibillion-dollar integrated resort is a joint venture between Chow Tai Fook, Vietnamese private equity firm VinaCapital and Suncity Group. It is reported that this is also the first integrated resort operated by Suncity Group.
Mr. Zhou is a former representative of Macau’s intermediary industry. He has largely achieved his billionaire dreams by luring the wealthiest gamblers in Asia, particularly China, to gamble in private luxury casinos in Macau. Suncity Group was founded by him in 2007.
China’s crackdown on such intermediaries, amid concerns that the country’s wealthiest people are moving money through tax havens such as Macau and evading Communist Party oversight, has seen business struggle for weeks. During the trial, Chau was sentenced to 18 years in prison in January after being convicted of fraud, assisting illegal gambling and criminal association.
casino already has new management
HoiAna is bound to become Vietnam’s preferred Sun City and its surrounding areas, attracting high rollers from Southeast Asia. However, after Zhou was arrested and charged, the group that owns the resort tried to keep the Macau-based gambling tycoon at arm’s length.
Chinese conglomerate Chow Tai Fook, which has holdings in jewelry, real estate and hotels, recently took over casino operations, Bloomberg reported this week. Last year, Andrew Lo acquired Suncity and renamed it LETGroup. Neither company has issued a statement regarding the management change, and the exact terms of the decision remain unclear.
HoiAna South Bank is a sprawling resort with over 1,000 rooms, suites and villas. The resort encompasses several hotel brands, including New World Zhou and the soon-to-open Rosewood Hotel. Rosewood Hotel is part of Mr. Zhou’s ultra-luxury hotel group. In addition, there are 270 private houses on the south bank of HoiAna for tourists to choose from.
Regarding the casino within the resort, the gaming area features approximately 350 slot machines and more than 140 gaming tables. Unlike U.S. casinos that focus on slot machines, Asian casinos focus more on table games, especially baccarat, a favorite game of the wealthy.
This resort features an 18-hole championship golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. There’s also a luxury shopping mall, health club, and infinity pool and beach on the resort’s 16th floor. For fine dining, the resort offers 15 full-service restaurants and bars where guests can sample cuisines from around the world.
Intermediaries are looking for market opportunities.
With Suncity’s rivals leaving the Chinese enclave following Zhou’s arrest in 2021 and Macau’s junket industry stalling, VIP organizers are aggressively seeking new market opportunities. Vietnam is generally regarded as one of the most attractive countries due to its relatively loose laws governing the junketing industry.
Chow Tai Fook, which is investing heavily in the gaming business, has taken a major stake in Star Entertainment and is assisting the Australian casino operator in raising capital for its double-billion-dollar casino resort project in Brisbane. Mr Zhou also helped pay Star two fines totaling more than $1.35 billion after the Queensland and New South Wales governments concluded the casino group routinely breached gaming laws and regulations.