After the imprisonment of the Suncity Group CEO Alvin Chau, the control of the Hoiana casino resort in Vietnam has been taken over from the former listed Chau’s company by Hong Kong’s billionaire Cheng family, as reported by Bloomberg.
Resort Control Takeover:
Alvin Chau ran the company LET Group Holding Ltd as a part of the casino giant Suncity Group. At the same time, the former company was involved in the operations of the Hoiana resort near the Vietnamese port city of Da Nang but, according to the source, has now terminated such an involvement. The takeover of control of the resort by Cheng family is reportedly assumed on the basis of the fact that the family-related investment company Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Ltd. is currently supervising the resort’s operations.
However, the source reports that this news is based on rumors going around the resort with people confirming the switch in the resort’s leadership but insisting on anonymity for revealing confidential information to the source.
$4 Billion Joint Venture:
The reason for rumors seems to arise from the structure of the Hoiana resort management. As reported, the resort represents a joint venture of the investment company Chow Tai Fook (close to the Cheng family), LET Group (formerly run by Chau), and investment management company VinaCapital. The Hoiana resort is still being developed and some facilities are under construction.
Once it is completed, it will feature a casino with 140 gaming tables, 350 gambling machines, a golf course, and luxurious hotels under the Cheng family’s New World and Rosewood brands, with the latter set to open in 2024, according to GGRAsia.The resort will represent a $4 billion investment by the end of the development.
Deep Involvement in Resort Development:
Chow Tai Fook and LET Group reportedly gave no comments. But the fact that the Cheng family’s investments and hotel facilities are deeply involved in the Hoiana resort’s development that will cost $4 billion to launch may be considered a massive reason for the investor to take over the helm and navigate the ship into still waters.
Chau’s group also operated the Macau’s largest junket operator but reportedly cracked on money laundering and monetary leakage concerns. Chau was arrested in November 2021 and accused of conducting illegal gaming activities to be sentenced to 18 years in prison in Macau in 2023. Andrew Lo reportedly took over the control of the company and rebranded it to LET Group.
According to Bloomberg, Chow Tai Fook is taking over Hoiana resort in the middle of the situation where Macau junkets are trying to set foot in the Southeast Asia after the regulatory junket law updates were enforced in Macau immediately after the Chau’s arrest. Facing severe business restrictions back home, Macau junkets see Vietnam as a perfect destination with relaxed rules and promising prospects, such as revenue-sharing opportunities. Vietnam is also attractive for its casinos exclusively rely on big gamblers from overseas.
Aware of Potential:
But the Cheng family seems to have been aware of the same potential from the beginning of the Hoiana resort development. They seem to be taking over the casino not only to complete the investment but also to take advantage of the market potential. Also, the takeover testifies about the family availing of the circumstances to get into the position to acquire the title over the largest portion of the revenues generated by the prestigious Vietnamese casino destination.