Hong Kong-listed gaming investor Imperial Pacific International Holdings Ltd on Thursday announced the appointment of veteran casino executive Yiu Ling Kwong as chief operating officer (COO) of the company’s Saipan casino resort project.
Mr Kwong has over 40 years of experience in the Macau gaming industry “providing support on casino and gaming operations as well as staff training and development,” Imperial Pacific said in a filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
Mr Kwong most recently served as an executive vice president of casino operations for Macau-based MGM China Holdings Ltd. The executive started his career at STDM SA, the parent firm of Macau casino operator SJM Holdings Ltd.
He helped established the Pharaoh’s Palace Casino, a Macau property operated under SJM Holdings’ licence and controlled by casino services firm Macau Legend Development Ltd. Mr Kwong has also served as COO of Altira Macau, a property owned by Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd.
Imperial Pacific is marking today, November 27, as the official opening of its “temporary casino” on Saipan (pictured), with a total of 40 gaming tables. The casino property had a soft opening on July 26 and VIP gaming operations started on November 1, according to previous filings. The firm has said that it expects “to commence collaboration with junket operators from December 2015 onwards”.
Imperial Pacific said on Thursday that Mr Kwong brings with him two other executives to the Saipan casino. Ho Ieng Kun has been named senior vice president of table games and Cheang Ka Hou is the new senior vice president of slot operations, the firm said.
Mr Ho is described as having over 30 years of experience in Macau’s gaming industry, with roles in casino operations and management. Mr Cheang has more than 11 years of experience in electronic gaming operations in the Macau market, said Imperial Pacific.
Imperial Pacific also announced in the same filing the appointment of former judge Eugene Raymond Sullivan as an independent non-executive director of the company. Mr Sullivan has been appointed for “an initial term of one year commencing from 26 November 2015, which is automatically renewable for successive terms of one year,” it said.
Mr Sullivan is a retired federal judge in Washington DC, in the United States. He was installed as a federal judge in 1986 and in 1990 was named chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Services. Mr Sullivan is currently a partner in the Washington DC office of law firm Pepper Hamilton LLP.
Imperial Pacific has pledged to spend as much as US$7.1 billion on a permanent casino resort on Saipan, a Pacific island that forms part of the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
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”China has been strengthening the control over capital flow, and the impact of that has already been reflected [on Macau’s gaming revenue trend]. There should not be any bigger impact from the new… legislation [on the mainland] … on the gaming revenue trend here”
Wilfred Wong Ying Wai
President of Macau casino operator Sands China