Casino Sold to Relative of CPP Lawmaker

Entertainment Gaming Asia (EGA) last week sold Dreamworld Casino in Pailin province for $500,000 to a relative of the CPP lawmaker—and wife of former provincial governor Y Chhean—who owns the land on which the company built the casino, according to a press release Thursday.

The gaming company wrote off its entire $2.5-million investment in the venture in January. Despite reducing operating losses in recent months, ongoing political unrest in Thailand compounded declining cross border traffic, prompting the company to bow out of Pailin altogether, the statement says.

“After careful evaluation of all options, on June 20, 2014 [EGA] entered into an agreement to sell 100 percent of the issued shares…to the Purchaser,” it states, a sale that includes all assets except electronic gaming machines, surveillance equipment and use of the Dreamworld name.

EGA, a subsidiary of Macau-based casino operator Melco International Development, built its first Dreamworld casino after signing a deal in May 2011 to rent land from Ban Sreymom, a lawmaker for Pailin province and wife of Y Chhean, who was replaced as Pailin governor this month and long served as Pol Pot’s bodyguard.

Ms. Sreymom received a one-off payment of $180,000 and earned 20 percent of profits from Dreamworld Casino during its operation.

According to the share purchase agreement dated June 20, the buyer is a relative of Mrs. Sreymom named as Ban Kea.

Mr. Kea, who hung up when reached by reporters Sunday, secured the deal with a $100,000 down payment, with the remaining $400,000 to be paid in 16 $25,000 monthly installments.

Sao Sarat, deputy governor of Pailin province, said the new owner had already registered a new name and the casino reopened Sunday.

“The location belongs to Mr. Y Chhean’s wife, and she is renting it to someone new and it will open today,” he said.

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