CEO of ASX-listed casino group which operates casinos Cambodian border towns resigns in wake of boardroom wipe-out


“We respect his decision to tender his resignation at this time,” the company said in a statement.

Mr Arbuckle joined in June from Star Entertainment, following the departure of Joey Lim, who set up Donaco in 2001 with his grandfather, the Malaysian casino tycoon billionaire Lim Goh Tong.

On Monday, the company wrote to the ASX requesting that its shares be suspended after shareholders voted Donaco’s chairman Stuart McGregor off the board and rejected the election of two other nominees,  David Green and Yugo Kinoshita, at its AGM on Friday.

Donaco has been in dispute with the former business partner of its Star Vegas casino in Cambodia.Credit:Donaco

On the morning of the AGM, executive director Ben Reichel stood down from the board, leaving only two directors, both nominees of Hong Kong-based major shareholder Argyle Street Management.

That put Donaco in breach of ASX rules that all listed companies must have at least two directors who are Australian residents. On Monday, Donaco also appointed Rod Sutton, who is an Australian citizen based in Hong Kong, as a director.

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Donaco said it was “in advanced discussions with a number of quality candidates, including candidates with experience in casino gaming in Asia” to join its board.

Shareholders last week also voted against changing the company’s name to Pan Asian Leisure Limited, which chairman Mr McGregor said would be a “a public statement that we are leaving the past behind”.

That was a reference to a bitter legal dispute with the former owner of its Cambodian casino, Lee Bug Leng, who Donaco accused of setting up rival casinos nearby – including one in the back of a supermarket – in breach of a non-compete clause. He also poached its “junket” tour operators which delivered punters to Donaco’s casino, the group claimed.

Donaco’s only major institutional investor is the Australia fund manager Perpetual, which halved its stake about a year ago and now owns about 4 per cent of the company, according to Bloomberg.

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