Vietnam Casino Hoiana Done Deal as Suncity Acquires Stake in Massive Seven-Phase Project

Posted on: August 31, 2018, 03:00h. 

Last updated on: August 31, 2018, 03:02h.

A Vietnam casino mega-project — whose first phase will be called Hoiana —  is looking solid after numerous delays. Suncity Group Holdings Ltd. announced this week that it’s finally closed a deal which will give it a 34 percent stake in the casino master plan.

Vietnam casino
Alvin Chau’s Suncity Group has completed the purchase of a 34 percent stake in a massive new Vietnamese Casino project. (Source: The Business Times)

Suncity is one of the highest-profile junket operators in Macau, and filed the purchase with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange this week, a company-issued statement saying that, “upon completion, the target has become a wholly owned subsidiary of the company.”

That target is Star Admiral Ltd., which was purchased outright by the Suncity Group, putting both companies under the control of Macau investor and Suncity Chairman Alvin Chau.

It brings to an end a deal that was more than a year in the making, and beset by continual delays in recent months. The purchase agreement for 34 percent stake in the project was first announced in July of 2017 for a price of $76.8 million.

But due to financing delays, the deal was first pushed back to this March, then once more to July, before it finally closed this week. Suncity will now partner with real estate firm VinaCapital and Hong Kong investment group VMS to bring the project to life.

Once complete, the venture will deliver a larger-than-life casino development to the Hoi An region in central Vietnam.

Country’s Biggest Casino

Vietnam has seen something of a casino boom in recent years, but this one will tower over them all.

Construction on the first of seven phases is expected to get underway in the middle of 2019. Phase 1 is officially known as Hoiana and will include 1,000 slot machines, 140 gaming tables, along with a hotel, condominiums, and an attached golf course.

Phase 2 was scheduled to be completed in 2023, but will now be pushed back by a year. The $4 billion project is expected to expand over the course of the next 15 to 20 years. Once all seven phases are completed, there will also be villa residences, retail shopping, a lagoon,and multiple water parks.

Hoiana will be built on a two-mile stretch of coastline in central Vietnam between the city of Da Nang and the sleepy tourist hot spot of Hoi An. It will sprawl over an area 2,470 acres in size.

Not Done Yet

Officials in Vietnam are betting that an expanded casino industry will help attract the highly coveted Chinese tourists who are already flocking to new casinos popping up all over Asia.

In addition to the mammoth Hoiana project, two other casinos are currently in development in Vietnam. One is in Quang Ninh in the north of the country, while another is being built on Phu Quoc Island in the southern region.

Currently, Vietnamese locals are technically not allowed to gamble in casinos. However, in January, the government announced it would permit these three casinos to welcome locals as part of a pilot project.