Lawrence Ho Expanding His Stake in Vladivostok
Macau casino mogul, Lawrence Ho, is planning to expand his gambling empire by raising his stake to 85% in a major casino project on the outskirts of Vladivostok. This project based in far eastern Russia, hopes to attract players also from northern China.Oleg Drozdov who holds a 30% stake has agreed to sell half for $20.2 million to Summit Ascent Holding Ltd and Firich Enterprises which will see Summit Ascent, of which Lawrence Ho holds a 33.8% share, increase its current stake of the project from 46% to 60%.
The other shareholders in the project include Melco International Development which also belongs to Ho.
Oleg Drozdov is currently being detained by Russian authorities for “business malpractices” but so far no prosecution has been brought against him. Mr. Ho claims that the deal is not linked to Drozdov’s investigation.
The first phase of the project is set to open by the end of the year with the aim of attracting Chinese high rollers who are partly responsible for the $45 billion dollars of revenues generated in Macau in 2013.
The project will include a hotel with 120 rooms, 800 slot machines and 65 gambling tables and will be the first legal casino in Russia since the 2009 banning to special zones.
The total cost of the project is estimated at $650 million and is expected to generate close to $1 billion in gambling revenues early on.