AERL gets new VIP room; hackers take Macau casino for $386k

TAGs: AERL, Asia Entertainment & Resources, hackers, le royal arc casino, Macau

aerl-macau-casino-hackerNasdaq-listed Macau gaming room promoter Asia Entertainment & Resources Ltd. (AERL) has inked a memorandum of understanding to add a new VIP room to its stable. AERL has agreed to acquire the VIP gaming room operations at Macau’s Le Royal Arc Casino currently promoted and operated by Mr. Wong Wing Yim. The room consists of six gaming tables, has at least 500 agents servicing it and operates under a Sociedade de Jogos de Macau (SJM) concession. The addition would bring AERL’s total Macau footprint to 40 tables across five VIP rooms. AERL says it expects to complete the transaction by June 30.

Under the terms of the MOU, AERL will pay Mr. Wong $20m: $10m upon closing the deal and $10m upon renewal or extension of the room’s existing collaborator agreements through at least the end of 2014. Mr. Wong can earn an additional $13m a year if the room achieves rolling chip turnover of over $2.5b in each of the first three years after the sale. Exceeding that $2.5b target would result in further incentive payments. Mr. Wong has agreed to personally guarantee any bad loans associated with the room prior to it changing hands.

Don’t know if this classifies as a bad loan, but some unlucky Macau high-roller just had HKD 3m (US $386k) pilfered by cyber-thieves. Last week, the Judiciary Police revealed they had been contacted on Jan. 24 by employees of a VIP gaming room who claimed two men had withdrawn the money from the player’s casino account. (The casino was not identified beyond being located on Avenida da Amizade.) The two men claimed to have the player’s permission to take the money so the casino called the phone number listed in the account to verify their story, which checked out.

The employees had no way of knowing hackers had broken into the casino’s IT and changed the number in the account to that of an accomplice. Eager to crack the case before some high-roller busted a vein wondering what happened to his bankroll, the police sprang into action. Following a forensic check of the casino’s technology, police arrested two Guangdong computer programmers on Friday. One of the two men who’d shown up at the casino remains at large and the Macau Post Daily quoted police saying the men were believed to be members of a criminal organization. And presumably a few role-playing games?


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