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Regulator: ‘We didn’t want to run casino’

The unfinished & abandoned Boroko casino (TIPNG)
The unfinished K200 million Boroko casino. Arguments continue on a project that went bust in 2011 (TIPNG)

KEITH JACKSON

PORT MORESBY - National Gaming Control Board (NGCB) chairman Clemence Kanau says the regulator never had aspirations to run Port Moresby’s casino.

Kanau also dismissed claims by failed Boroko Casino developer, South Korean company CMSS PNG, that it had met all the requirements to establish the casino.

The project ground to a halt in 2011 with the casino half built.

The PNG government stated that CMSS had not tendered its contribution of K164 million for its 90% share of the project.

A number of landowner companies were said to have lost K22 million when the project failed.

NGCB chairman Kanau told PNG Bulletin that the CMSS claim to have met all requirements was “unverified and baseless”.

He said there was no appropriate development, operational or regulatory framework in place for CMSS to establish a casino.

“NGCB is empowered to ensure that all proper legal requirements of the Gaming Control Act 2007 and other relevant laws are complied with,” he said.

“The proposed Boroko Casino was never sanctioned by the NGCB, which was not part of this failed investment.

“We would never have participated in it,” Kanau stated.

Clemence Kanau - National Gaming Control Board chairman
National Gaming Control Board chairman, Clemence Kanau

He told PNG Bulletin that it is not NGCB’s role to partner the developer of a casino in PNG.

Its function as a regulator is to ensure all proper legal requirements are complied with.

“The claims made by CMSS PNG Ltd Director Philip Kende that the company had met all the requirements to establish the casino are unsubstantiated,” Kanau said.

“It is an unjustifiable objection and an allegation which is motivated by ulterior motives to which the NGCB will not be drawn into.

“As far as the NGCB is concerned, the matter of the failed Boroko Casino and CMSS PNG Ltd is closed.”

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