Macau junket investor Rich Goldman Holdings slipped to a loss of HK$3.3 million in the six months to 31 December 2019, with revenue falling 50.2% to HK$35.2 million due to macro-factors impacting Macau’s gaming and Hong Kong’s tourism industries.
Rich Goldman’s gaming and entertainment business felt the brunt of the decline, with revenues falling 63% to HK$18 million on the back of decreased high-end visitation to Macau during the back half of 2019. The company previously held three promotion agreements in Macau, including two with VML – the subsidiary that holds Sands China’s gaming concession – but was informed by VML in May 2017 that one promotion agreement had been terminated and in August 2017 that the second had been terminated. Its remaining junket operator currently runs eight VIP tables at Grand Lisboa.
Also suffering during the period was Rich Goldman’s hotel arm, which saw revenue down from HK$12.6 million to HK$4.9 million due to Hong Kong’s political protests.
“The social unrest in Hong Kong since June 2019 has seriously damaged Hong Kong’s tourism and hotel industry,” the company said. “According to the statistics of Hong Kong Tourism Board, the overall number of visitors in Hong Kong decreased by 16% from approximately 65 million in 2018 to approximately 56 million in 2019. As a result, the average hotel occupancy rate in Hong Kong decreased from 91% in 2018 to 79% in 2019.”
As a result, Rich Goldman recorded a loss before taxation for the hotels segment of HK$9.8 million compared with a profit of HK$4.1 million in the prior year period.
The group’s money lending business offered some positive momentum, with revenue for the period growing 10.2% to HK$10.8 million.
The company’s six-month loss of HK$3.3 million marked a significant decline from a profit of HK$14.4 million in the second half of 2018. It has subsequently declined to issue a dividend to shareholders.