Asian Gambling Market Tourmoil and Jack Lam

Published Friday, April 21, 2017 -
Asian Gambling Market Tourmoil and Jack Lam

The gambling market in Asia has perhaps the most lucrative potential of all the global jurisdictions. The area is a difficult one to do business in with the different languages and the political control exercised by various governments.

The Philippines has seen a number of upsetting situations develop because of the new hard line approach of the elected President Rodrigo Duterte and his war on drugs and gambling in recent months. Online gambling operator Jack Lam who President Duterte has taken to disliking has been an example of how quickly things can change when political interests take hold. Lam is one of Asia’s most influential gaming industry figures and was forced to leave the Philippines after Duterte ordered the arrest of Jack Lam Yin-lok.  His Hong Kong stock exchange-listed Jimei International Entertainment Group was in peril of becoming a dead fish. The president ordered Lam’s arrest for bribery and economic sabotage but later allowed Lam to resume his local gaming operations if he paid the necessary fines and tax obligations

Now after Mr. Lam has sold his controlling stake in Jimei the Hong Kong-listed junket investment company. Lam was a veteran investor in Macau junkets and Jimei was key to the fortunes of two important gaming companies, Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Macau. The players that Mr.Lam brought to Macau were some of the biggest high rollers in the Asian gambling market.

Jimei International disclosed that the deal, which took place April 7, involved a maximum consideration of HK$443.2 million (US$57 million) for Mr.Lam’s stake of 65.05 percent. It will be divided into two sections, one totaling HK$222 million, which has been already settled, and two, amounting to HK$221.2 million, will be delivered on January 5, 2018.

Under the deal, the amount for the second batch of payment may be adjusted downward if Jimei International “is unable to recover part of its outstanding receivables,” estimated to be at HK$227 million, at the end of 2017.





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