Chinese and Europe-based consortium fighting for Laotian Casino in Savannakhet

In early 2016, the Laotian government decided to sell the Savan Vegas Hotel and Entertainment Complex. Opened in 2009, the complex integrates a hotel with 482 rooms, six restaurants and bars, a spa as well as a casino integrating 80 table games and 500 gaming machines.

The selling process has been changed however over time. The original was an open-bid to six shortlisted companies earlier this year, including companies from China, India and Malaysia. The Laotian government finally decided to cancel the tender process and signed instead an agreement with Macau Legend Development Ltd to take over the Savan Vegas Hotel and Entertainment Complex. Macau Legend Development Ltd would pay US$42 million for the property including a monopoly for any casino properties in the three Southern Laotian provinces around Savannakhet for a period of 50 years.

In a media statement, Macau Legend Executive Director and CEO David Chow told: “We can leverage on Macau Legend’s experience and connections to build on the already more than one million annual visitors to Savannakhet. In addition to the existing facilities, the parties are also discussing the development by Macau Legend of a land parcel in the Savan Seno Special Economic Zone in Savannakhet Province which is adjacent to the existing Savan Vegas Hotel and Entertainment Complex. The planned development would include two golf courses, a 600 room hotel, villas, casino, exhibition hall and spa, pool facilities, staff quarters and training facilities.”

The deal is still due to be finalized by the end of August. However, a counter-offer from ECAS4 International AG, a European-Asian Consortium based in Liechtenstein. According to gambling business reports, the offer is backed by a global casino operator. ECAS4 International AG is ready to pay US$60 million for the bid and has already announced to invest a further US$120 million for the expansion of the complex.

In a public statement, Werner Kubesch, a businessman heading the Consortium, said that “We are aware Macau Legend has been selected, but with deadlines already missed, we hope our counter-offer, which is substantially more beneficial to the Lao government, will be considered favourably. Our consortium is backed by one of the largest hospitality groups in the world, a well-known European based, but globally active casino operator and strong financial partners with extensive regional expertise.”

However, a legal adviser to the Laotian government over the sale of the Savan Vegas declared that there is so far no record of ECAS4 International AG to the Ministry of Planning and Investment and that the European-Asian consortium was not part of the bidding process.