A U.S.-based business called Sino-America Gaming Investment Group controlled by Denver-based consultancy RiskWise Group, and Macau Resources Group Ltd (MRG), which Sino-America majority owns, are in talks with regulators in the Philippines on the possibility of spending US$1 billion on two casino resorts in the country, Reuters reports.
According to the report, one is on Cebu, an island popular with tourists, and one on the island of Napayawan, near a proposed airport.
Francis Hernando, vice president of gaming licensing and development at regulator the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor) was quoted by Reuters saying: “For areas outside of metro Manila, especially in underserved areas, the chances of looking into a casino licence would be higher than in Manila.”
MRG, registered on the OTC Markets Group exchange, based in New York, is controlled by Sino-America Gaming, after it acquired a controlling stake in the company on September 5, 2014, according to an MRG filing on February 23. The same filing states that Sino-America Gaming is controlled by Michael Foxman, who was appointed an MRG director following the acquisition.
Also on September 5, James Preissler was appointed chief financial officer of MRG. According to Bloomberg Research, this is the same James Preissler who has previously been identified as a director and chairman of the audit committee of Macau junket room investor Iao Kun Group Holding Co Ltd. The most recent Nasdaq filing of Iao Kun to the Securities and Exchange Commission, made on December 2, lists Mr Preissler as a company officer.
Mr Foxman, described in the Reuters report as managing director of Sino-America Gaming, was quoted saying hotel chain Banyan Tree Group would take part in the Philippine development and that they were also negotiating with representatives of Marriott International Inc. Sino-America has also reportedly signed a Las Vegas partner for entertainment.
An MRG March 2 filing to OTC lists the firm’s chief executive as Cheok Va Lam. The same filing lists MRG’s sector as “hotels and motels.”
The company – registered in the British Virgin Islands in 2011 and formerly known as Speedy Cosmo Ltd – lists an office at Macau Finance Centre in Rua de Pequim in Macau, and another in Kowloon, Hong Kong.
MRG is described in the March 2 OTC filing as a shell company. MRG’s stock has not been quoted on OTC since October 18, 2013, due to “inactivity”. It last filed a statement of operations for the period ending December 31, 2013.
(Updated 10.45am, Friday April 10)
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