A British Virgin Islands-registered international casino marketing company originally announced as tasked with bringing international junket players to Star Vegas Resort and Club (pictured) in Cambodia, will run several gaming and non-gaming facilities at the border casino, according to a filing by a third party on Thursday.
The information about the role of Vivo Tower Holdings Ltd in the running of Star Vegas was given in a filing to Bursa Malaysia by MQ Technology Bhd, a loss-making firm that has been involved manufacturing moulds, tools, dies, jigs, fixtures and car spare parts, but is now seeking to diversify into “marketing services for gaming related businesses”.
Star Vegas is controlled by Australia-listed Donaco International Ltd, and the Cambodian resort has previously focused on serving customers from neighbouring Thailand, where casino gambling is illegal.
MQ Technology said in its Thursday filing that it had that day entered into a marketing agreement with Vivo Tower “to exclusively develop and implement marketing services as well as to provide manpower for Vivo Tower’s conduct of operations,” at Star Vegas. According to the filing, MQ Technology had reported a loss for the three financial years up to financial year ending December 31, 2016.
MQ Technology added it was seeking to raise nearly MYR4.15 million (US$1.01 million) via private placement of nearly 83 million shares – 20 percent of the entity’s issued shares – at MYR0.05 per placement share. One of the two subscribers is qualified accountant Wong Ken Hong, described in the filing as an executive director of MQ Technology and former senior director of finance at casino cruise operator and Philippine casino investor Genting Hong Kong Ltd, with “over 16 years of experience in gaming and leisure industries”.
Joey Lim Keong Yew, chief executive and managing director of Donaco, is a member of the Lim family business dynasty hailing from Malaysia that founded gaming investor and conglomerate Genting Bhd.
The other subscriber to the MQ Technology share placement according to Thursday’s filing, is Woo Yee Foo, also an accountant and former banker, described as a Canadian national living in Hong Kong, and currently managing his family office fund in Hong Kong.
Vivo Tower role
MQ Technology’s filing stated of Donaco International: “The resort owner had allocated certain designated areas within the resort, i.e. the casino premises, for Vivo Tower to manage and conduct its operations for the resort owner. The allocated casino premises [for Vivo Tower] consist of gaming rooms and entertainment rooms.”
The filing added: “The gaming rooms within the casino premises include one main hall, one VIP hall, one premium lounge, and six VIP rooms. The entertainment rooms within the casino premises include, amongst others, 70 hotel rooms, one Chinese restaurant, one coffee house with international street hawker cuisine and waiting lounge area.”
The filing added that Vivo Tower’s operations in the casino venue had started on July 1 this year, 2017 “for a period of five years with the option to renew for a further five years”.
According to MQ Technology, Vivo Tower in return is to give a unit of Donaco a lease payment of US$1.5 million in financial year 2018, increasing to USD3.0 million per annum in subsequent years. In addition, Vivo Tower will be required to pay a revenue sharing fee on the revenue earned by Vivo Tower from all activities conducted in the casino premises, in excess of the fixed fee of USD3.0 million per annum.
In June, Donaco said in a filing to the Australian Securities Exchange that it had a deal with Vivo Tower for the latter to bring gambling junkets from “Macau, Hong Kong, Malaysia and elsewhere” to Star Vegas.
According to Donaco’s 2017 full year results presentation dated August 29, this year, the resort has approximately 139 gaming tables, 1,522 electronic gaming machines – with 288 owned outright by Donaco and 1,234 supplied by distributors under revenue share deals – and 385 hotel rooms with multiple restaurants and shops.
In late November, Donaco said in a filing it would seek an injunction via the Cambodia courts regarding alleged breaches of an agreement struck with a Thai former business partner that sold Donaco the Star Vegas property in 2015.
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Total number of casino properties currently in operation in Cambodia, according to the country's Ministry of Finance