Donaco International co-founder Joey Lim says he still has full confidence in the future of the company’s Cambodian casino resort Star Vegas, resisting talk of a potential sale despite a nightmare 12 months plagued by legal and financial concerns.
In an exclusive interview appearing in the May edition of Inside Asian Gaming, available this week, Lim speaks at length about Donaco’s troubled relationship with its former partner, Somboon Sukjaroenkraisri, which has led to legal proceedings in Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore and Australia and ultimately saw Lim terminated from his role as Managing Director and CEO.
But he is quick to reject any suggestion that Donaco, which purchased Star Vegas in Poipet for US$360 million in 2015, should sell up and move on.
“As you can see from our latest filings, even during adverse business conditions, DNA Star Vegas continues to be profitable,” said Lim, who remains on the Donaco board.
“I believe it is in all shareholders’ best interests to see out a resolution with Somboon either in or out of court, then we can focus on growing and managing the property with full purpose.
“There is a lot of potential in Poipet yet to be realized, with a new train terminal under construction and airport slated for 2020. Capacity to the city will increase.”
Central to the standoff between Somboon and Donaco has been the former owner’s continued operation of neighboring casino Star Paradise in defiance of a non-compete clause. He is also trying to have Donaco’s long-term lease of the land Star Vegas stands on, and which he still owns, overturned.
Nevertheless, Lim tells IAG, “A settlement is not out of the picture. It is just a matter of how far Somboon is willing to make remedies to the company on its complaints.”