Sun International owns and operates dozens of casinos in Africa and South Africa including Sun City Casino Resort, as well as The Monticello Grand Casino in Chile. It was recently announced that they would merge their Latin American operations with leading Latin American casino company Dreams S.A. thus consolidating the market there. Dreams owns casinos in Iquique, Temuco, Valdivia, Puerto Varas, Coyhaique and Punta Arenas.
Now the company seems to be setting its sights on Asia. Sun International had a profitable year in 2014 and wants to use the momentum gained to expand into countries such as South Korea and the Philippines. The company is yet to disclose its expansion strategy but is keenly following the decline in Macau’s gambling industry. Macau’s high value and VIP players have started traveling to neighboring countries and playing high stake games.
Graeme Stephens, the CEO of Sun International wants to establish casinos in these countries and create an environment that encourages these VIP gamblers to patronize his establishments. However, there are a number of bigger companies already targeting the Asian market and could make it an extremely competitive environment.
Stephens recognizes that it will be an uphill battle to establish a foothold in Asia. He is prepared for the competition and believes if his company adopts the right kind of market strategy then Sun International will be successful. In a statement, Stephens said “We are up against the gaming giants … so we might look at a casino operation as part of a large mixed-use development, or take a small piece of a larger casino entity.”
If for some reason the Chinese government decides to stop its anti-corruption crackdown, Macau’s casinos will once again start to thrive and its regular VIP and high stake customers could once again return to the Cotai strip and leave neighboring countries like Vietnam, Cambodia and the Philippines in a tight spot.
Sun International will most likely make a decision regarding its Asia expansion in the next couple of months.