Donaco International, a casino operator, has won the first legal hurdle against the Thai vendors running its leading Star Vegas casino situated in Poipet, Cambodia.
On Wednesday, Donaco, an Australian owned company, released a report that Cambodia’s Appeal Court in Phnom Penh had come to their rescue with a favorable appeal. The court rejected a bid by the Thai vendors to seize assets owned by Star Vegas.
These assets includes the Cambodian bank account run by the casino. The vendors want to use this asset as security against a debt owed by the casino to the vendors.
According to reports from Calvin Ayre, Donaco bought the Star Vegas in 2015 from the Thai vendors. The vendors were then hired to run gaming operations at the casino for the next 2 years.
In 2016, the Thai vendors built another gaming hall right beside the Star Paradise. It was agreed that Donaco would be in charge of gaming operations at the new casino for a fee of about $144k. The agreement between both parties was that Donaco will pay the fee monthly.
However, immediately after the expiration of the Star Paradise deal, the Thai vendors took over the management of the casino and started managing gaming operations by themselves.
This move incensed Donaco who accused the Thai vendors of violating the terms of their deal. The deal contained a non-compete clause, which barred them from competing with Donaco for some time.
The Thai vendors, on the other hand, countered Donaco’s claim. They stated that the casino owed them management fees for operations at the Star Vegas for 2017. The Cambodian courts were having none of this as they rejected a bid by the vendors to seize the casino’s asset which they tried to do on two separate occasions.
The ruling by the Appeal Court ruling is the last resort for the company. This ruling puts an end to what the defendant, Donaco, termed as “a campaign of legal harassment.”
Donaco found it hard to bottle its optimism as regards the landmark ruling on Wednesday. This was the same court that considered the appeal made by Donaco on a separate ruling. The ruling stated that the Thai vendors had every right to end the lease of the Star Vegas property.
That dispute was because of the Lee Hoe Property Co Ltd. A company owned by the famed vendors. They wanted to put an end to a 50-year lease with Star Vegas, based on a claim by the vendors that Donaco did not pay rent for 5 months.
Donaco countered the claim. They said their landlord only accepted cash payments and stopped coming to collect the rent during that time. They also did not provide Donaco with another payment option, so they stated they were not at fault.
With the number of legal problems Donaco is battling with currently, it did not come as a surprise to many when Donaco publicly announced last month that they had perfected plans to rebrand the entire company.
The rebranding also includes changing their name to Pan Asian Leisure Ltd. These legal issues also had a negative impact on the share price of the company as their financial performance has been nothing to write home about. It was until recently that the company started showing signs of improvement financially.