Suncity preparing to bring non-gaming resorts to Japan this year


While most companies operating in the gaming space have been scrambling to keep their heads above water as the COVID-19 debacle continues to keep them down, a few have been able to seemingly walk on water. Suncity Group falls into the latter category based on a couple of announcements it has made this week. The Hong Kong-listed company is pushing forward with two non-gaming resorts it wants to build in Japan and is also preparing to move on to the second phase of development at its resort in Hoiana, Vietnam. 

Logo of Suncity Group with the aerial view of Niseko, Hokkiado in the background

Suncity confirmed that it wants to build a luxury resort in Hokkaido, Japan, specifically, in the popular ski town of Niseko. It will be designed with all types of travelers in mind and the company said of the resort, “With development plans in the works in 2021, the project will cover an area of approximately 20 hectares, combining the natural beauty of Niseko and convenient leisure amenities.” Suncity hopes it can begin construction on the new property prior to the end of this year and the ultimate goal of its Japanese endeavors is to be in a stronger position to compete for a gaming license once the country gets its integrated resort (IR) market up and running.

That construction will run simultaneously with the construction of a second non-gaming resort on Miyako Island in Okinawa. Suncity purchased a plot of land there about a year and a half ago and has plans to build a property that includes 100 hotel rooms and 40 private villas, each with its own swimming pool. The company added about this endeavor that it “considers that with (i) the continued increase in Chinese visitors travelling to Japan and (ii) the newly operated direct flights to the Shimojishima Airport, the acquisition represents a good opportunity to further expand its tourism-related business and to diversify its focus, in terms of geographical locations, from China to the East Asia region.”

In addition to these plans and a project in the works in the Philippines, Suncity is moving forward with the work on its IR in Hoiana, Vietnam. The first phase of the project opened to select guests last summer and construction on the second phase is about to begin. It is going to target Southeast Asian tourists and Suncity expects the resort to bring “significant revenue and sustainable development prospects.”

Suncity seems to have an endless supply of money to fuel its growth. It reportedly took a loss of $15.6 million in the first half of last year, which followed a loss of $193.5 million it reported for the first half of 2019. The second half of 2020 couldn’t have been any better as the COVID-19 situation dragged on, but Suncity Chairman Alvin Chau has been able to keep things going by agreeing to shell out at least $1.22 billion of his own money in the form of loans at the same time the company was losing part of its footprint in Southeast Asian.