Star Gold Coast chases unpaid debt 

by William Brown Last Updated
Star Gold Coast chases unpaid debt 

An Australian casino is suing a Singapore high roller over a $45 million gambling debt. reports The Star Gold Coast is suing Singapore native, Dr Wong Yew Choi, a well known Asian high roller.

Dr Wong was flown to The Star’s property on his private jet and given an A$200,000 welcome in gaming chips and accepted a check from the VIP exchange for an initial line of credit totaling A$40 million.

Between July 26 and August 1, 2018, the casino says he gambled it all away on baccarat tables.

His final debt is alleged to total A$43.2 million.

In July, the Supreme Court of Singapore dismissed The Star’s lawsuit against Dr Wong seeking the recovery of his gambling debts.

The court cited Singapore Civil Law Act, which prohibits the government assisting foreign companies seeking the recovery of debts related to overseas gambling.

Star Entertainment isn’t folding, however, now taking its legal fight to its home court system.

Attorneys for Dr Wong claim the baccarat dealers made unspecified “mistakes” during his time at the tables.

He claims he was invited to Star Gold Coast by a marketing executive with the casino, but became furious with dealer mistakes and informed the VIP room managers he was done.

In court filings, Dr Wong says casino staff persuaded him to continue playing and was assured that he would not be liable for further gambling debts caused by the dealer mishaps. 

Dr Wong claims he was seduced by VIP marketing executive Teazel Yaw to keep gambling.

The Star denies those accusations and says it’s Dr Won’g way of trying to get out of paying his liabilities.

Little is known about Dr Wong and how he amassed such wealth that a casino would be willing to lend him tens of millions of dollars.

Dr Wong is the chairman of Celton Manx, an online gaming and software firm based in the Isle of Man.

The company is said to be the first interactive gaming firm to be licensed to operate internet table games with live dealers in the self-governing British sovereign state.

SBOBET is a Celton Manx subsidiary and is an online bookmaker licensed in the Philippines to take bets from people throughout Asia.

There have also been unfounded claims linking Dr Wong to Paul Phua, a Malaysian high-stakes poker player and bookie who has been an alleged member of the 14K triad, based in Hong Kong.

Star inks agreement to be the only NSW casino with pokies

Star Entertainment has reached an agreement with the New South Wales government to set the casino tax rates from 2022 until 2041.

Share Cafe reports Star Entertainment is to remain the sole casino with pokies machines in New South Wales during this time, unless compensated.

Credit Suisse suggests this is positive for the company’s earnings.

The casino group hasn’t let the coronavirus pandemic dampen its project pipeline.

Casino Aus reports that the company executed its funding agreements with its project partners, securing $1.6 billion in debt funding, the first of it to be used next month.

The Star did this in joint partnership with David Chiu’s Far East Consortium and Henry Cheong’s Chow Tai Fook Enterprises.

The terms of the agreement were determined prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing economic crisis, which means the financials and terms reflect the market conditions at the time.

All necessary conditions for the funding, including the final approval of the Queensland government, should be completed next month.

Once complete, the joint partnership will take the first draw-down on the finding, the rest remaining for construction that is set to begin in early 2021.

In total, the group’s funding is a 5.5-year agreement with three years of operations allowed before refinancing.

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