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Chinese Newspaper Targets Macau’s Suncity in Online Gambling Report

Niji Narayan

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Suncity to Spend Up to HK$35 Billion for IR in Japan
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A Chinese newspaper has reported that Suncity, the biggest junket operator in Macau, has raked in billions of dollars in online gaming and proxy betting, causing great harm to China’s social economic order.

The report by Economic Information Daily was the first time a Macau junket has been singled out for online gaming activity and comes as China faces slowing economic growth and seeks to keep a lid on capital outflows.

Gambling is illegal in mainland China apart from in the special administrative region of Macau where Chinese nationals are able to bet in casinos. Suncity enabled Chinese players to bet through online casinos in the Philippines and Cambodia and utilised underground banks to move capital out of the country.

“The annual amount bet through online gambling in the mainland is more than one trillion yuan ($145 billion), equivalent to nearly twice the annual income of China’s lottery,” the report said.

Suncity said in a statement that it didn’t operate any online gaming business and all its operations were permitted under local government regulations.

Macau’s gaming regulator said that online gambling in Macau is illegal and if there were violations of local laws and regulations, outside of the former Portuguese colony, it would affect the qualifications of the junket operators and the bureau would “take serious action.”

Asia

Sands China Obtains Exemptions on Credit Facility

Niji Narayan

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Sands China Obtains Exemptions on Credit Facility
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Sands China Ltd, the Macau subsidiary of Las Vegas Sands, has made changes to the terms of a US$ 2.0 billion loan facility that it owns.

The revolving unsecured credit facility was approved by Sands China in November 2018 and it is valid until July 31, 2023. The facility involves a host of banks and has Bank of China Ltd, Macau Branch, as the lenders’ representative.

The revised terms allow for the agent and borrowers to “waive any default that may arise as a result of any breach of the requirements” even in the restated form.

The other changes are the following: the borrowers waiving Sands China’s conditions to ensure that its combined leverage ratio on the last day of any quarter does not exceed 4 to 1; and the combined interest coverage ratio on the last day of any quarter is greater than 2.5 to 1.

The lenders also decided to “extend the period of time during which the company may supply the [lenders’] agent with its audited consolidated financial statements for the financial year ended on December 31, 2019; to April 30, 2020;” with a similar loosening of the deadline for disclosing the results of the 2020 financial year – namely to April 30, 2021.

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Asia

Cambodian PM Orders Shut Down of Casinos

Niji Narayan

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Cambodian PM Orders Shut Down of Casinos
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Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has ordered that all casinos in the country should be shut down as a preventive measure against the spread of the coronavirus.

Under measures introduced by the Ministry of Economy and Finance to combat the spread of COVID-19, all casinos in the country have to close its operations from 11.59 pm on Wednesday 1 April until further notice with the government to “take action in accordance with the law in force accordingly” against any operators that fail to comply.

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Asia

Osaka Extends Casino RFP Deadline

Niji Narayan

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Osaka Extends Casino RFP Deadline
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The Government of Osaka prefecture has extended the casino RFP deadline by three months in view of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Osaka Government announced last week that it will allow three more months as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic. The government is still hopeful of realizing its 2026 goal for starting an IR, but the present health scenario is likely to force further delays.

Along with the delay in RFP, the decision on choosing a private-sector partner to participate in the project will also be pushed back.

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