Disappointment and turmoil surrounded the Ho Tram casino today as the announcement came through that the upcoming APT Vietnam scheduled for November, has now been cancelled. There is still an element of confusion over why this cancellation has taken place, but it seems that more will be revealed in the coming days and weeks.
Andrew Scott, who is CEO of World Gaming Group and in charge of the Ho Tram Poker Room, released the following statement about APT Vietnam: “It is with great sadness and disappointment that World Gaming Group (WGG) advises that Ho Tram Resort Casino has cancelled the Asian Poker Tour Vietnam. […] We profusely apologise to the Asian poker player community for the ongoing confusion and the mixed messages from Ho Tram Resort Casino management. WGG has noted significant instability in operations at the Ho Tram Resort Casino over the last month and will be providing further clarification and details next week.”
The First APT Vietnam was a real success for a first international tournament in Vietnam
This news is very likely related to the unexpected appointement of Michael Kelly as Executive Chairman and the resignation of Shaun McCamley a few weeks ago. Regular changes in management tend not to be an ideal blueprint for success, and it is clear today that the sudden cancellation of a high profile event in Vietnam does not look good for poker in the country as a whole, or the Grand Ho Tram Casino. The customers who enjoy visiting the casino and participating in major events will have been disappointed to hear of the cancellation. It's bad new for the poker community in Asia and for all the people who were working on the organisation the event.
Ho Tram Casino: Several years of difficulties
It is fair to say that the Ho Tram casino project has undergone some changes and hasn't progressed as smoothly as many hoped, and still needs many years of prosperous trade before it can repay all of the USD$600 million already invested in it's construction. The Ho Tram casino saw a major obstacle arise back in March 2013, when MGM resorts withdrew their support for the project. In early October 2014, Ho Tram announced a change in the management with a new president for the project, namely Shaun McCamley. McCamley teamed up with World Gaming Group to bring big poker tournaments to the casino in the form of the first edition of APT Vietnam, and the Vietnam Poker Cup. Unusually though, in late September this year, there was an announcement that McCamley was being replaced, and that Michael Kelly would be taking his position.
Just a month later, this unexpected news has broken: APT Vietnam 2 was cancelled.