Macau Junket operator Dore Group HKD2 billion theft prompted a wave of immediate withdrawal requests from the group’s investors.
According to a research note Friday from Union Gaming Research, Dore Entertainment Co Ltd has posted a statement on its website confirming allegations that it has been a victim of internal fraud by a former employee Mimi Chow, who allegedly “used her power to conduct unauthorized actions without the company’s knowledge, which severely impacts the company’s interest and reputation.”
Dore added that “due to the seriousness of this event which involved fraud, the group has filed a police report.”
Following the statement, around 30 investors protested on Saturday outside the Wynn Macau resort, demanding an early release of their investments from the junket group. Those attempts were met with denials and the protesters have not received any response over the fate of their deposits.
The protesters, with masks over their mouths, also sought to hold a face-to-face dialogue with managers of Dore over the theft and the situation of their investments.
Union Gaming’s note also stated on Friday that its team had visited the Dore facilities at Wynn Macau following the fraud reports and “found that business is continuing as usual, with no evidence that HKD2 billion had been stolen.”
Japanese brokerage firm Nomura said on Monday that the reported “junket theft and various VIP room closures in late-August/early-September cast additional uncertainty on the already weak [Macau] VIP gaming segment which has already been hit hard by China’s economic slowdown and anti-corruption campaign”
Credit Suisse had a different take, saying that the impact was “likely to be small if any” because Dore’s boss had reportedly “agreed to honor the debt and the deposit put in by the junkets and the agents.”
“The monthly rolling chips volume that Dore generates is only 3% of the system’s monthly VIP rolling chips,” the Credit Suisse team wrote. “Even if it is completely gone, it would be only less than 1% of the system earnings impact (considering that VIP is only 25% of the system EBITDA). From our check this morning [Friday] with junkets and casino operators, VIP business continues to be steady, some even see stronger volume than August.”