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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Australia firm says Poipet casino takeover due in July

Australia firm says Poipet casino takeover due in July

Australian casino operator Donaco International said its acquisition of Star Vegas Resort and Club in Poipet was well under way, with all the due diligence and financing arrangements on track for a July 1 takeover.

Donaco, which runs the Aristo International Hotel, a boutique casino in northern Vietnam, announced the acquisition on January 30 and said the deal would help diversify into the Thai market, as Star Vegas caters largely to travellers from Thailand.

“It will also provide valuable diversification for the company, with the Star Vegas focusing on the Thailand market, while the Aristo services the China market,” said Stuart McGregor, chairman of the Donaco board, at a general body meeting last Friday.

To fund the $360 million acquisition, the company has already raised A$132 million (US$101 million) from shareholders and has agreed on a US$100 million loan from Mega International Commercial Bank.

While Star Vegas is a fully operational casino and hotel with 109 gaming tables, 1,264 slot machines, and 385 hotel rooms, with more than 5,000 visitors per day on average, Donaco said it will use the 57,000 square metres of available building space to expand in the future based on demand.

Ros Phearun, deputy director for financial industry of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, said he had heard of the Donaco deal, but the ministry had not yet received any official letter as yet.

“In fact, we don’t have a law to manage the industry, so we cannot interfere with their deal, which why is we are going to draft a law to govern the industry,” Phearun said.

Phearun said that 90 per cent of gamblers in the Poipet-region were Thai nationals.

He added that a law was needed to regulate the gaming industry but that as Donaco was a listed company he expected them to comply with international gaming standards.

Donaco said the paperwork relating to its loan, along with Thai and Cambodian New Year celebrations, in mid-April, would delay the completion of its acquisition by two months.

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