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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Sampoerna's retreat: Les Ambassadeurs for sale, Mansion next?

Sampoerna's retreat: Les Ambassadeurs for sale, Mansion next?

Indonesian tycoon and well known gambler Putera Sampoerna seems to be re-thinking his business strategies as a gaming entrepreneur; he is selling the London based casino Les Ambassadeur...could his internet property follow the same fate?

Asian billionaire Putera Sampoerna apparently ran out of luck when he switched from gambler to gaming entrepreneur. He bought Les Ambassadeurs, commonly known as Les A, less than 18 months ago for £115 million (little over $230 million). He is now selling the land based property and the highest bid on the plate (£90 million, $180 million) is from Sportswear tycoon Mike Ashley.

Sampoerna would take a staggering £25 million ($50 million) loss if Ashley's offer remains the same and US gaming giant Harrah's doesn't come forth with a better offer.

No one has ever been granted access to Sampoerna's internet property's books but information leaked over the years induce to believe that the Asian tycoon has lost well over £30 million ($60 million) since Mansion opened its doors in 2004. was born with the disclosed ambition to challenge reduced juice business model on the sportsbook side and exchange in the p2p arena.

Three years after its grand opening offers full juice wagering on the sports book side and has seemingly abandoned the p2p exchange business model after heavily seeding it for months to attract punters.

Despite substantial marketing investments like the £8m+/year shirt sponsorship deal with Tottenham Hotspur Football Club the brand remains little known to U.K. and European punters in general. reshaped its marketing strategies several times in the last 24 months and is now heavily promoting its casino and poker products while focusing its sportsbook's marketing efforts on its Philippines based sister operation

The possible exit of Putera Sampoerna from Mansion's ownership could easily lead to the demise of the Gibraltar based gaming operator which has survived its marketing mistakes solely thanks to the financial backing of the Indonesian billionaire.


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