Macau VIP gambling room investor Iao Kun Group Holding Co Ltd announced on Wednesday the resignation, respectively, of its chairman, Lam Man Pou, and chief executive, Vong Hon Kun. Both are leaving the board but will remain with the firm. Mr Lam will serve as chief marketing officer, while Mr Vong becomes chief operating officer.
The changes to management and the company board were announced after Iao Kun said it had completed the acquisition of a software technology development company, as the junket investor tries to shift the company’s overall strategy away from gaming.
Iao Kun has acquired 51 percent of Jia-Heng Industrial Ltd, the holding company of Guangzhou LiNiu Network Technology Co Ltd. The latter is a software technology development company that is currently developing a business-to-consumer electronic trading platform focused on mainland China’s agricultural sector.
On Wednesday, Iao Kun announced that Wang Shun Yang has been appointed as co-CEO and as a director of the board, and will be responsible for Iao Kun’s technology industry development. Fong Weng Nam has been appointed as the new chairman of the board of directors, Iao Kun said in a press release.
Mr Wang is the founder of LiNiu Network and has been developing its agricultural electronic trading platform since 2013, according to Iao Kun’s press release. Mr Fong is described as an entrepreneur with more than 20 years of experience in investment, real estate development and Macau’s gaming business.
In addition, the company announced that Lam Chou In – until now the firm’s COO – has been promoted to co-chief executive, responsible for the Macau gaming business.
“We are pleased to complete the acquisition and are moving forward rapidly to launch our agriculturally focused e-commerce platform within the next few months,” Mr Wang said in a statement included in the press release.
Iao Kun’s VIP room gaming promoters and collaborators oversaw five VIP gaming facilities in Macau as of the end of August. But the firm announced on September 2 a “comprehensive strategic review” of its operations in Macau in order to “enhance its operating performance”.
The company has since shut down four of its promoted Macau VIP rooms. The junket group now only promotes a single VIP room in Macau, located at City of Dreams Macau, a property run by casino operator Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd.
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"VIP growth [in Macau] is roaring back on the heels of last year’s economic stimulus – but we think this could stall once the effect of the stimulus and the Chinese housing bubble wears off – as it did in 2013-14"
Cameron McKnight and Robert Shore
Analysts at Wells Fargo Securities