Casino services investor Amax International Holdings Ltd is to acquire some mobile game software applications for a consideration of HKD27 million (US$3.48 million).
The transaction with a third-party vendor will involve issuing consideration shares under a general mandate, with each unit of such stock at an issue price of HKD0.450.
An associated company of Amax International was once one of the biggest junket investors in the Macau casino market – when judged by monthly rolling chip volume – investment analysts have said.
On completion of the latest exercise by Amax International – and following approximately six months of preparatory work – the group plans to launch the game apps “via various well-known third-party digital distribution platforms,” it said in Thursday’s filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The document did not name the distribution channels, but said they would charge a commission to carry the apps.
It added: “To enjoy the mobile game apps, players need to purchase virtual tokens via the distribution platforms.”
The parties transferring the apps to Amax International were named in its filing as Patrick Wah Poon and Kristy Ng Wing Ki, who were each said to have a 50 percent interest.
The filing further stated regarding the apps: “The virtual tokens are not redeemable into cash nor exchangeable into other items of value… To attract players to download and consume the mobile game apps, the company plans to recruit its own marketing team or engage third-party marketing consultants as deemed appropriate…”
Amax International stated: “In view of the increasing popularity of the use of mobile devices and mobile entertainment, combining with the company’s expertise in the gaming and entertainment-related businesses, the directors are confident that the launching of the mobile game apps could bring… additional income stream to the group.”
The firm also has interests in offshore online gaming. In November, Amax International said in a filing that an “interactive gaming” business it runs in the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu had generated revenue of HKD1.7 million in the six months ended September 30.
Some investment analysts said that the former strength of Amax International’s associated Macau junket investment unit was thanks largely to the unit’s aggressive rates of rolling chip commission designed to incentivize players and their go-between agents. But the associated business’s fortunes began to turn after the Macau government indicated it was minded to set a market-wide cap of 1.25 percent on rolling chip commission.
More recently the chairman of Amax International, Ng Man Sun, has been in a bitter dispute – played out in the Macau media – with his former domestic partner, businesswoman Chen Mei Huan, over the future of a Taipa casino-hotel property formerly known as the New Century but later renamed as Imperial Beijing Palace Hotel.
The hotel is currently shuttered after the management handed back its Macau government operating licence.
But a statement issued in January in behalf of Mr Ng said Amax International planned to redevelop, renovate, and reapply for the hotel licence “as soon as irregularities caused by former management are rectified, and compliance requirements are once again met”.
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"Our rolling chip business [at Tigre de Cristal casino, in the Russian Far East], targeting Asian customers, has achieved substantial growth as we continue to address the underserved Northeast Asian market"
Lawrence Ho Yau Lung
Chairman of gaming investor Summit Ascent Holdings Ltd