Macau junket operator announces proposed name change
After terminating an agreement with Macau casino operator Sands China Limited in July, junket operator Neptune Group Limited has now reportedly announced that it plans to change its name to Rich Goldman Holdings Limited.
According to a report from GGRAsia, Neptune Group Limited made the revelation on Thursday via a filing with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange before additionally declaring that the name-change remains subject to shareholder approval.
“The board is of the opinion that the current name of the company does not reflect the diversity of businesses conducted by the group,” read the filing from Neptune Group Limited. “While the group is still engaged in its gaming business by receiving profit streams from junket operators [in Macau], the group now focuses more on its money lending business and management and operation of hotel business. The board considers that the proposed change of company name will provide the company with a more appropriate corporate identification and image that would better reflect or align with the business nature and future development of the group.”
Such a move would represent the second time in the past decade that the firm has changed its name after 2007 saw Massive Resources International Corporation become Neptune Group Limited. The firm went on to become one of the biggest players in the Macau junket market but it has suffered of late due to falling VIP gambling revenues prompted by the anti-corruption campaign of Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Dubbed “Duanlian”, which in Chinese translates as “to break the chain”, Jinping’s crusade has attempted to stop money flowing out of the country by terminating the personal and financial links between foreign casino operators and their mainland clients. Casino gambling, as well as the promotion of such activities, is now prohibited in China with the former Portuguese enclave of Macau the only place where Chinese nationals may legally place wagers. The organizing of foreign gambling trips is additionally unlawful although junket operators often seek to get around this prohibition by incorporating sight-seeing excursions.
However, the past few years have reportedly seen Chinese regulators up their game by beginning to closely audit firms that do business with junket operators. This has led to annual VIP gaming revenues in Macau falling by nearly 38% from 2013’s high of $45 million.
The news got even worse for Neptune Group Limited in July when Sands China Limited, which is the Macau-focused subsidiary of American casino giant Las Vegas Sands Corporation, terminated a deal that had seen the junket operator run 14 VIP tables inside The Venetian Macao Resort Hotel. It shares have subsequently fallen in value by 96% and are now worth only about $0.04.