Good Morning. The abrupt unraveling of Macau’s Suncity late last year following the arrest of its CEO Alvin Chau took everyone by surprise and none more so than long-time Asia executive Michael French. He had joined the group a year earlier to help on its major expansion projects, spanning Vietnam, Russia, and the Philippines. In today’s Face-to-Face, Michael tells us about his experience with Suncity and his career in Asia, including the development of the premium mass model in City of Dreams Macau and the opening of Solaire Resort & Casino in Manila.
What you need to know
- Macau has announced a six-month extension to the six operators’ concession contracts to allow more time for the tendering process, though analysts say they don’t expect negative surprises.
- Shares in Macau’s operators rallied after a report that Beijing may be looking to move away from its zero-Covid policy, even though it may take another year for that to happen.
- Macau gave further details on plans for satellite casinos in amendments to its gaming law that will make it easier for them to stay in business.
- Nagacorp said it wants to indefinitely suspend its plans to build an integrated resort in Russia’s Primorye gambling zone, as it is “surrounded by various uncertainties.”
- Vietnam’s MOF has proposed the expansion of its locals-permitted casino pilot program by adding two casinos to the trial list, along with an extension of the program for another two years.
On the radar
- Macau operators maintain vaccination drive pressure.
- ASIC defends decision not to pursue Crown former directors.
What the papers say
- Slot tax threshold in the U.S. to increase to alleviate strain on tax authorities and operators.
The arrest of Suncity CEO Alvin Chau and the subsequent unraveling of his empire in late 2021 sent shockwaves through the industry. In this week’s Face-to-Face interview we speak with long-time Asia casino executive Michael French, who had joined Suncity just a year prior to its demise. He talks to us about his time and the group, as well as his experiences in Macau, where he helped develop the premium mass model at City of Dreams Macau.
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