45 Yang Zhihui
CHAIRMAN AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
POWER SCORE: 600
POSITION LAST YEAR: 44
CLAIMS TO FAME
Behind one of Korea’s first true integrated resorts
Bought and sold London’s Les Ambassadeurs Club for a quick profit
As rollercoaster rides go, they don’t come much more “edge of your seat” than the one endured by Landing International’s Chairman Dr Yang Zhihui has endured in 2018.
The year began well enough, with Landing’s Korean integrated resort Jeju Shinhwa World launching its new casino in February, then proceeding to generate gross gaming revenue of HK$2.4 billion for the first six months of the year – more than the combined GGR of Jeju’s eight casinos through all of 2017.
The opening of more amenities and thawing of diplomatic hostilities between Korea and China also has visitor numbers on the up once again, painting a rosy enough picture for the future of Dr Yang’s Jeju dream.
But hopes of creating a similar success story in the Philippines hit an unexpected road block in August when, on the very same day the company held the groundbreaking ceremony for a US$1.5 billion Manila IR, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte fired the entire board of Landing’s local partner and declared no such casino resort would go ahead. That project now looks dead in the water.
Of far greater concern though is the fact that, for the past three months, Dr Yang has been officially missing. On Thursday 23 August, Landing International issued a trading halt after its stock price plummeted 35% in less than two hours, stating in a Hong Kong Stock Exchange that it had been unable to contact its Chairman.
The following day it was reported by Chinese media that Dr Yang has been detained by police in Cambodia and extradited back to China in relation to business links to China’s state-owned Huarong International Financial Holdings Ltd, whose former head is being investigated in a graft probe.
To this day, the company remains none the wiser as to his whereabouts – leaving many questions unanswered regarding which direction Landing takes now.
For the full list of 2018 Asian Gaming Power 50 winners, click here.