The Macau Metro Monitor, March 6, 2013
GAMING ALERT: MORE "CASHLESS CASINO" LICENSES ALLEGEDLY ISSUED IN HAINAN Macau Daily Times
According to gaming insiders, Jester Bar owned by real estate mogul, Zhang Baoquan, wasn’t the only operator “licensed” to test the cashless casinos. Sources say “up to 10 licenses were issued or were about to be issued,” when Jester’s was shut down apparently following a Reuters’ dispatch revealing the activities of the casino bar at the Mangrove Tree Resort World.
A Shanghainese living in Sanya, surnamed Lin, confirmed the “rumors” that “they want to have a special zone for gambling in China. So Sanya officials are very willing to try gaming here.” Lin said, “There are other bars like this in Sanya. I know at least three. The first time I went to one was three years ago. Many people go there. They open and close all the time. Jesters will open again. They closed it because of troubles during a visit by government officials.”
A former Galaxy Macau executive, Eric Coskun is managing the casino operations at Jester’s and was subsequently “advised to keep a low profile”. Hainan is purported to have the most illegal gambling operations in China.
Despite the denials from Sanya’s government stating no gaming operations were ever officially sanctioned “it’s obvious that Zhang Baoquan has had the tacit approval of central government officials, even if only by turning a blind eye on the tycoon’s operations,” a gaming expert told the Times.