Casino cruise ship faces bankruptcy

    A casino cruise ship went from over 400 customers a day to less than a few dozen, facing bankruptcy and a wage dispute from its crew members, local media reports.

    The cruise ship, owned by Arising International Holdings, like many casino cruise operations, has been hit with a drastic drop in Chinese mainland tourists due to the ongoing anti-corruption campaign and slowing economy.

    Mr Wong, who had identified himself as the representative of the casino cruise company said daily turnover in the past could reach as much as HK$10 million, but last year’s income may have fallen by as much as 90 percent.

    Wong told the South China Morning Post he had also spent nearly HK$20 million to get the vessel through a safety inspection to no avail, even after seven months.  

    “Our investors are devastated and suffering a great loss,” he said. “We really don’t want to see [bankruptcy] happen because, by that stage, the ship will be sold very cheaply.”

    The ship’s crew are also reportedly planning to apply for legal aid next week to take their employer to court in the hope of recovering more than five months’ worth of unpaid work.

    Sixty-three-year-old shipmaster Valeriy Lyzhyn said, “I feel hopeless […] my greatest concern is about wages, food and repatriation of the crew members.”

    Arising International bought the vessel, now registered in the Republic of Palau, for more than HK$100 million in 2012 and later rented it out to Sun Junhao Ltd at a monthly fee of HK$2 million.