MORE HURT FOR ONLINE GAMBLING TYCOON JACK LAM (Update)
Now Lam's Jimei group distances itself from his Philippines activities.
Beleaguered Asian online gambling and junket businessman Jack Lam's troubles grew further Wednesday when the Macau-based Jimei International Entertainment Group Limited, in which he is a controlling stakeholder and an executive director, issued a statement distancing itself from the gambling billionaire.
The statement pointed out that the issues involving Lam in the Philippines are related to business carried out in his personal capacity and in no way involve or materially impact Jimei and its subsidiaries. The statement specifically draws attention to the fact that Lam's Fontana gambling operations in the Philippines are not part of the Jimei group.
The move followed news that the Philippines authorities have issued a warrant for Lam's arrest on charges of economic sabotage and attempted bribery, according to local media reports. His investor visa privileges have already been withdrawn.
Such a warrant would be necessary should the Philippines commence extradition proceedings on Lam, who has already seen his casino operations in the region shuttered after licensing was suspended in the wake of massive Bureau of Immigration arrests of Chinese nationals found on the premises and allegedly engaged in online gambling operational activity .
The arrests were followed by claims by the Philippines Justice Secretary, Vitaliano Aguirre and Pagcor chief Andrea Domingo that Lam had tried to bribe them for corrupt protection and licensing advantages, and the intervention of Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte insisting that Lam be apprehended.
By then Lam – whose legal representatives have denied he has done anything unlawful – had departed the Philippines, and his whereabouts are currently unknown.