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Temporary closure of Star Vegas Resort extended

Jose Rodriguez T. Senase / Khmer Times Share:
Donaco International and former owners of its Star Vegas Casino in Poipet have agreed to temporarily put on hold litigation related to their long-running dispute. TripAdvisor

Star Vegas Resort, Donaco International’s casino in Poipet, will be closed for a little longer with Cambodia continuing to grapple with the Coronavirus pandemic.

In its April 21 filing to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), the Australia-listed casino operator said the temporary closure of Star Vegas Resort remains in place to comply with Cambodian Government restrictions. The latest filing did not mention a timeline or when the casino will reopen.

The government ordered the temporary closure of all casinos in Cambodia starting April 1 as part of measures to prevent the spread of the deadly virus. The ban remains in place.

Donaco, in the same ASX filing, also confirmed that it extended the closure of Aristo International Hotel for another week. Aristo International Hotel, a Donaco-owned casino in Lao Cai, Vietnam, shut down for two weeks from April 1 to 15 to comply with Vietnamese government directives to close all casinos temporarily.

“The company believes the current COVID-19 situation poses a risk to the health and safety of staff and visitors at Aristo if operations resumed, which could have adverse long-term consequences for Donaco,” part of the filing said.

The temporary stoppage of its Cambodia and Vietnam operations is costing Donaco a lot of money. The company said it will implement additional measures to reduce cost.

“The closure of both casino operations will have a material impact on Donaco’s business,” the filing further stated. “Donaco is successfully undertaking pragmatic measures to reduce costs, which will mitigate this impact.”

Donaco earlier said that it expects to spend between $800,000 and $900,000 during the closure for ‘maintenance of assets and other corporate costs’.

Donaco has been on a rollercoaster ride in the last few months. The company has been engaged in a protracted legal dispute with its former Thai partners over the Star Vegas Resort.

After three years of legal battle that extended into Australia, Singapore and other countries, the parties agreed to settle the dispute last month. The settlement has been put on hold pending the approval of Mega International Commercial Bank of Taiwan, a key lender to Donaco.

While the legal dispute was going on, the company was embroiled in an internal dispute that saw the group CEO and several board members resign. With the settlement and after the internal disputes were resolved with new people at the helm, the company appeared to have turned the curve. Then came the Coronavirus.

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