Exactly ten years later, after adopting Casino Law, the Parliament of Mongolia sent its three members to the jail. Those who were shouting “NO”, today running around initiating the draft law on Casino.
Examining the fights in the parliament about the gaming law, gives a strange feeling that behind the fight, there is something or someone else;
Why did Mr. Gundalai protest first a law protecting the Mongolian population from the risks of gaming and later on distributed letters that in fact, he is not against the law. He proposed his own variation, but who did write that one? How long has he worked on his version or did somebody else do it?
Could it be that members of parliament are pushed by some force without really understanding what’s going on? In which interest is it to leave Mongolia as the only country in the region without a comprehensive gaming law?
Why do some investors agree to work in an environment against their own interest where Mongolians are kept away from casinos and members of parliament who should protect the population push for a â€œpopular casinos with all the social risks?
All these questions can only be answered if you examine deeply the situation.
Let us start with a story far away from Ulan Baatar, a story linked to fascinating Hollywood and the Planet Hollywood restaurant chain.
This company is run by Mr. Earl, but more attention are getting Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis and other celebrities who were small shareholders of this company. But the times of Hard Rock Caffee and Planet Hollywood restaurant chains are over. The company have filed twice for bankruptcy in the United States. Many celebrities sold their shares and distantiated from the company. Background checks are non-existant in Mongolia, but are common in international practice.
Both companies are in discredit in the international financial market. Is it possible that they are interested in Mongolia? Have they got the necessary finances to make a mega tourist project?
Let’s examine a possibility. Mr. Earl learns from Mr. Flynn (Mongolian Jockey Club, which is even not registered in Mongolia) that international investors are considering a tourist attraction in Mongolia. Flynn brings some Mongolian politicians to Kentucky, USA, and proclaims in US newspapers that he struck a deal for a race track with a casino. If anyone goes to the internet websites, not Imperial Gold but Jockey Club of Mr. Flinn brought Mongolians to Kentucky. Their pictures appreared on the local newspapers as well. In one article at Lexington Herald Leader, it said that The Horse Race track is confirmed in Mongolia and there were names of N.Bolormaa and T.Badamjunai. The attack against other draft laws, company and those who composed law, begun already in 2005. Therefore, few steps were left to reach their target. Were they claiming others as corrupted, while managing own actions?
Where did he want to find the finances? Of course from Planet Hollywood. In his eyes, this company has all the finances of the world. He brings the CEO, Robert Earl in contact with the strongest force in Mongolia’s economy, linked to the Bayangol hotel. Then something happens. Flynn seem to loose the grip on the situation. The Mongolians he introduced and Robert Earl seem both not willing to have an intermediary. The Mongolians are under impression of Hollywood’s fame, but what does Earl want?
He seems not to have financed much if anything in Mongolia. Could this person be much more intelligent than any Mongolian partner he might have?
As a result of this alliance, certain members of parliament started to attack the gaming law. All the actions look as they were fighting for unknown sponsor. It is also possible that they have just been mislead and were acting in good fate.
If Earl wanted to invest, why didn’t he do so with Flynn? Flynn is active for already years in Mongolia. What could be his benefit to attack a law? If he is a legitimate entertainment operator, he can just profit from a clear law according to international standards. If he destroys the law, he will not be able to do anything himself. Is he so sure of his Mongolian contacts that they can at the same time stop the law and give him a license? In a democracy as Mongolia, it is easier to destroy than to build. Members of parliament are not robots which you can switch on and just with a sign switch back off. The past financial operations of Planet Hollywood could give us an answer. Planet Hollywood lives from Royalties, receiving money from their name. The name lost already a lot of its glamour in the US, so Asia could give it a second chance.
All international investors can only operate in a situation of political calm and financial security. Racketeering them could force companies to use the brand names of Planet Hollywood.
So the company gains from any kind of scandal, as long as it is not directed to itself.
What is the fate of the Mongolian partners of Planet Hollywood? They seem to be blinded by fame and used without any chance to financial success. They use on their own, probably Mongolian politicians in the same way.
In the mean time, no comprehensive law is voted. Serious investors are confronted with the ugliest details of Mongolian politics and will probably search more stable countries with already established legal systems. Mongolian population is loosing an opportunity for work and the Mongolian economy for development.
The inability of Mongolian parliament to vote any kind of law which would incorporate international standards and the protection of its own population is symbolic of our economy and political system.
Unfortunately, even those who tried and maybe succeeded to destroy Mongolian economic revival through the tourism industry, are just puppets in a game they do not understand and certainly do not control.