Hong Kong-listed gaming investor International Entertainment Corp (IEC) has appointed two of its three executive directors to the board of Rational Live Events Macau Limited – the recently acquired former subsidiary of PokerStars owner The Stars Group.
The news formed part of a detailed rundown by IEC of Rational Live Events Macau Limited for the benefit of investors after it purchased the company in August for US$3 million.
In its comprehensive assessment released Thursday, IEC revealed that it has now appointed Min Zhang and Thomas Chan as directors of its new subsidiary, “who, respectively, possess more than 20 years of experience in the fields of commercial development, investment and business management and legal/corporate advisory.”
Rational Live Events Macau Limited was previously described by PokerStars as one of its “data controllers”, responsible for the capture, storage and use of the personal information of players taking part in local events including those formerly held at the PokerStars LIVE Macau poker room at City of Dreams.
IEC described the company as “managing, operating and organizing live events/poker tournaments in Macau.”
In its announcement this week, IEC said that it will retain Rational Live Events Macau Limited’s current management team to assist the new directors. IEC’s Chairman Stanley Choi is also well-known within the Asian poker scene as a high stakes cash game player and regular at the region’s larger tournament series.
The acquisition of Rational Live Events Macau and appointment of new board members comes after IEC signed a collaboration agreement in May with The Stars Group to operate land-based live events and poker rooms under the branding of PokerStars in certain Asian countries. Those countries include Macau, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia and Cambodia. The PokerStars LIVE brand is currently only operating in Manila after the PokerStars LIVE poker room at City of Dreams in Macau shut down in April.
Choi told Inside Asian Gaming in August that he was in negotiations with Studio City to host the Macau Poker Cup there later this year but has yet to respond to further inquiries about the progress of that deal.
Nevertheless, IEC reaffirmed on Thursday its intentions to rejuvenate the PokerStars LIVE brand, telling investors in regards to the acquisition that, “Since the Target Company (Rational Live Events Macau Limited) has previously organized numbers of live events/poker tournaments in Macau, it would allow the company to leverage on the extensive experience possessed by the Target Company.
“Furthermore, attracting poker players to join the tournaments is vital for maintaining the revenue of the Target Company. The Target Company has strived to maintain its goodwill and has maintained its established reputation among poker players through certain numbers of charity work. Hence, the company is able to save up time and resources as compare to setting up a new entity to organize the live events/poker tournaments.”
IEC added, “Under the current development plan, the Target Company will engage in organizing poker related gambling activities in Macau and any related bookmarking transactions shall take place in Macau.”