It's taken over a month, but the Malaysian tycoon Vincent Tan's corporate office has released details of the disposal of its online gambling interests following their abrupt closure on May 9 (see previous InfoPowa report)
Working with the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission, Ascot Sports and Ascot e-Casino wound up their affairs but will apparently continue to operate under these brands with new ownership until September 1, when new branding will be introduced.
The latest announcement reveals that the Malaysian parent company Ascot Sports Sdn. Bhd. has sold off Ascot Sports Philippines, Inc. (Ascot Sports.com) to 9 Technologies Sdn. Bhd. (previously Extremely Good Sdn. Bhd.). This is a fast-growing new sports technology company located in The Gardens, Mid Valley which was last heard of developing a large scale "Online Transactional Processing for Asia" infrastructure in Malaysia.
Ascot Sports (BVI) Limited (presumably the e-casino) has been acquired by El Moro Finance Limited, a British Virgin Isles company with a registered address at Pasea Estate, Road Town, Tortola, B.V.I.
The consideration agreed for the acquisitions, which were finalised on June 11 2008, was not disclosed.
Garth Kimber, the head of e-gaming at the Isle of Man government Department of Trade and Industry, told InfoPowa last month that the shutdowns were a commercial business decision by the owners, and that the closure had been carried out in consultation with the Isle of Man licensing authority, ensuring that player funds were returned to the players as part of an orderly withdrawal from the industry.
"At present there are no major identifiable problems with the process. The Gambling Commission will continue to liaise with the company and monitor the situation," he said at the time.
Tan apparently ran into political hassles in 2006 despite paying 25 years in advance for a Malaysian licence three years earlier. A change in politicial leadership brought the problem about, and Tan changed his focus to the online gambling industry through an Isle of Man licence.
The AscotSports.com website, together with its information portal AscotSportal.com, was finally launched a few months prior to the Fifa World Cup 2006 tournament, with a call centre in the Philippines, and the company subsequently expanded its services by launching a 4-digit number lottery product online. The Ascot e-Casino was also launched in 2007, targeting the Chinese-speaking market in Asia.