Macau’s Court of First Instance has ordered an ex-cage manager of junket operator Dore Entertainment Co Ltd to repay MOP103 million (US$12.9 million) of funds with which she allegedly absconded, according to a court notice published in local newspapers.
In September last year, Dore confirmed media reports it had allegedly been a victim of internal fraud by a former employee, now identified in the court notice as Chao Ioc Mei. The court said it could not notify in person Ms Chao – previously identified in some media reports as Mimi Chow – due to the fact the court did not know of her whereabouts.
The court’s notice, published on Monday, stated not only that Ms Chao had to repay MOP103 million to Dore, but also that she was required to pay annual interest of 6 percent on the outstanding money, as well as other costs determined by the court.
The ruling additionally said that the ex-cage manager could pledge any assets lawfully held by her, in order to repay the money with which she allegedly absconded. If she did not, Dore would have the legal right to request the seizure of Ms Chao’s assets.
The court’s order will come into force 30 days after the issuance of a second notice. After that, Ms Chao will have 20 days to appeal against the order or return the money to Dore.
In September 2015, Dore Entertainment had said that Ms Chao “allegedly used her power [in order] to conduct unauthorised actions without the company’s knowledge”.
At that time, the VIP gambling promoter confirmed the VIP room in question was at Wynn Macau, a venue of Wynn Macau Ltd. Dore did not confirm the amount of money involved.
Since then several people describing themselves as investors in Dore’s cage operations have demanded they be allowed to withdraw cash deposits placed with the junket operator.
In August, Wynn Macau Ltd said it is facing “several lawsuits” in Macau’s Court of First Instance “by individuals who claim to be investors in or persons with credit in accounts maintained by Dore Entertainment Co Ltd”.
As of September 16 last year, complaints made to the Macau police from those claiming to be investors in the cage operations of Dore amounted to at least HKD330 million (US$42.5 million).
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"Given the opaque nature of the VIP segment (56 percent of gross gaming revenue in first quarter 2017), forecasting Macau GGR with a fair amount of certainty is difficult; therefore, we remain cautious"