IAG December 2015 - page 10

inside
asiangaming
December2015
10
Cover Story
public as well as members, with a total investment in excess of
US$100million.There’sa66 roomhotelplus115villaand townhouse
rental units,withplans toexpand to 1,000villasplusahigh risehotel
with 2,000 rooms. The water park has theme areas, slides, a wave
pool and lazy river ride.Other activities include sports suchas tennis
and basketball, a spa, a dozen F&B options, banquet and meeting
facilities, plus a nine hole par-three golf course. Fontana’s adjacent
golf clubhas two 18hole courses designed to appeal toKoreans, the
Philippines’ largest visitor group and a significant residentminority.
Jimei Chairman Jack Lam is an avid golfer and tournaments are a
regular feature.
The casino has about 150 tables and a like number of gaming
machines.Fontanamemberscanbringup to twoguests to thecasino
but its focus remainsonoverseasVIPs.Macau junketsbesides Jimei
regularly provideplayers. Gaming taxes are low, so commissions are
well aboveMacau’s 1.25%cap.Under its license, Fontanapaysa 10%
fee to Pagcor on mass gross gaming revenue and 10% on net VIP
win after commissions. Jimei also continues operating as a junket
promoter at other Philippineproperties, includingSolaireResort and
Casino in Manila and Fort Ilocandia Resort Hotel on the beach in
northern Luzon.
“Fontana’s success owesmore to Dr Lam, his vision as well as
“Weareallwaiting
foreconomic recovery
in themainland”
–AlvinChau
Suncity Group Chairman Alvin Chau wants to take
Macau’s leading junket promoter to the world, both in VIP rooms
and as a resort investor and owner. In his interviewwith
Inside Asian
Gaming
Editor at LargeMuhammadCohen excerptedhere,Mr Chau
wouldn’t discuss specifics of Suncity’s investment in Vietnam’sHoi
AnSouth integrated resort project, but sharedhis views on the state
ofMacaugaming andhis vision for Suncity.
IAG:Howdoyou see thecurrent junket situation inMacau?
AlvinChau:
I have great confidence sincewe have 1.3 billionpeople
in China as the foundation of the market. The junket business in
Macau is currently affectedby theeconomy inmainlandChina. Every
business has its ups and downs. Because everything has happened
all at once – the slowdown of the Chinese economy as well as the
policy adjustment – the junket business inMacau declined quickly
and people haven’t had time to adapt. I think this is a normal
adjustment for thebusiness.Weareallwaiting foreconomic recovery
in themainland.
IAG: Do you think Macau’s market changes are permanent or
temporary?Forexample, StudioCityopenedwithzeroVIP tables.
Couldyou imagine that happeningfiveyears ago?
AC:
It’s justamatterof thegovernment’s tabledistribution–delaying
the distribution of VIP tables until next year. It is known that their
license forVIP roomshasn’tstarted.
[Macaugaming regulatorDICJdid
not respond to IAG’s request for clarification or comment onMr Chau’s
assertion.]
I don’t believe a casino hotel can be complete without
VIP tables. Overall, you won’t achieve diversified development by
reducing thenumber of VIP rooms.
IAG: Are youhappy to see a resort like StudioCity that has a so
many non-gaming attractions as opposed to just building big
casinohotelswith restaurants?
AC:
Of course I’m happy to see those new entertainment facilities.
This is a business where people are free to determine their own
business development. When the market gets up to a certain size
with more hotels, hotel rooms and tables, competition increases.
People are not satisfied with large gaming revenue only; therefore
diverseproductswill keep appearing.
IAG: Do you think people need to viewMacaumore as a tourist
destination rather thanagamingdestination?
AC:
Products in the market will become more diverse. Gaming
revenue will still account for the lion’s share, but the reasons for
visitingMacauwill becomemore varied.
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