Suncity Billionaire Alvin Chau to Spend B Building Westside Casino Hotel in Manila Entertainment City
Suncity Group Holdings announced this week that it will spend approximately $1 billion to build its casino resort in Manila’s Entertainment City.
In filings made with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the Suncity board reveals that total construction and development of the “main hotel casino” will be $1 billion.
Suncity is led by Alvin Chau. The 46-year-old billionaire made his fortune by running VIP junket groups in and out of Macau, the Chinese Special Administrative Region that is the world’s richest gaming market.
Suncity’s casino development in the Philippines is located in Westside City Resorts World. The sprawling complex situated on more than 75 acres will feature several hotels, residential neighborhoods, office spaces, retail and entertainment districts, and parks.
Suncity Casino Details
A year ago this month, Suncity Group signed a 45-year lease agreement with Westside City to own and operate a hotel and casino in the development. At that time, Suncity revealed its casino floor will span 44,000 square meters (473,612 square feet) and include 1,200 slot machines and 400 table games.
The hotel component will offer 400 guestrooms. Suncity hopes to open the casino resort in early 2023.
Once the resort commences operations and welcomes its first guests, Suncity will pay the parent company of Westside City an annual fee of $10.6 million for the casino privileges. The payment will be issued in two annual installments.
Chua Wants to Become Casino Magnate
Chau is continuing his effort to pivot from a junket operator into a global casino tycoon. His Suncity Group owns Summit Ascent, the parent entity to the Tigre de Cristal casino resort in Russia’s Far East Primorye gaming zone.
Tigre has struggled since its opening in 2015. Russia’s planned version of its own Las Vegas Strip today has only two casinos open. The remote region has failed to lure in enough visitors to justify the hundreds of millions of dollars invested.
Chau announced last fall that Suncity was capping its investment at Tigre following the resort’s second phase. The $200 million expansion will double the number of VIP and mass gaming tables, and add another 120 hotel rooms. The expansion is expected to be completed next year.
Along with the Philippines, Suncity is building a casino resort in Vietnam. Suncity is also hoping to win licensure in Japan. The company is targeting a casino development in Wakayama.
However, China’s recent revelations regarding its efforts to stop mainland high rollers from traveling overseas to gamble has hampered some enthusiasm in Asian gaming markets. Multibillion-dollar integrated resorts cater to China’s wealthiest players, but the People’s Republic amending its criminal code to impose harsher penalties on those who organize cross-border gambling trips for Chinese people has analysts worried.
China issued a warning ahead of today’s Chinese New Year advising its people to avoid gambling.
According to relevant data, the annual Spring Festival holiday is the most rampant period for overseas gambling groups to invite gambling and gambling activities,” stated Liao Jinrong, director of the international cooperation department at the Ministry of Public Security.
“It has not only caused a large outflow of funds, but also resulted in kidnapping, extortion, crimes involving gangs and other vicious crimes, which are serious threats. Our economic security and social stability underline the holiday atmosphere,” Liao concluded.
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