Australian Gambling Industry Executives Battle For Control

Published Saturday, June 09, 2012 - Online-Casinos.com

The gambling situation in Australia has reached a critical mass where the tycoons of the industry there are battling it out for supremacy. In Sydney, Australia the Star Casino has launched a legal action to reclaim over $23million Australian dollars in credit it advanced to 10 international VIP gamblers. The suit against some of the defaulting VIP gamblers was launched in New South Wales Supreme Court on February 27th, 2012 and additional proceedings were instigated on June 5th 2012. The Daily Telegraph reports those named in the suits include Thai property developer Nattachai Srirungsukpinji, Pimchaya Wattanakulyothin, a Thai businesswoman who made her fortune via a direct marketing company; and Chin Meng Pun, a businessman from Macau.

The need for cash is clear after Star Casino owners Echo Entertainment announced a $30 million dollar write off after the collapse of junket operator SilkStar Global Marketing Ltd. Echo Entertainment is embroiled in a management standoff that has stake holders fighting for control over of pieces the pie. Crown Ltd. CEO James Packer has a 10% stake in Echo, and he has been trying to install ex-Victorian premier Jeff Kennett, as its head of operations.

To make things more complex The Australian Financial Review reports that investment group Perpetual which controls just under 10% of Echo Entertainment will not back Packer’s board seat bid when the vote comes on July 20. Matt Williams, Head of Equities at Perpetual said the company “does not support” Packer’s play because a 10% stake “is nowhere near enough to have a director on the board of a major competitor.” Yet another matter to deal with is the quiet acquisition of Echo shares by Malaysian casino operator Genting. Genting Singapore has managed to secure a 4.9% stake in Echo recently using JP Morgan as its agent. A spokesperson at Genting, issued a brief statement to the effect, “We have a stake in Echo as part of Genting Singapore’s investment portfolio.”

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