Macau trial to start in September | Hao asks for USD12b in lawsuit against LVS subsidiaries

A former business partner of Las Vegas Sands Corporation, Marshall Hao, has called for an increase in the amount of its claim against the Venetian Macau Ltd., and three US-based subsidiaries of Las Vegas Sands, LVS (Nevada) International Holdings Inc., Las Vegas Sands LLC and Venetian Casino Resort LLC.

The Asian American Entertainment Corporation (AAEC), led by the Taiwanese entrepreneur, is now asking for a total of MOP96.5 billion (around USD12 billion) in compensation related to the granting of the gaming concession in Macau.

The increase of the amount in the claim by Hao was reported in the latest interim report of Sands China Ltd.

The case that opposes the Taiwanese entrepreneur to the subsidiaries of Las Vegas Sands was originally filed in January 2012 and now its first hearing has been adjourned to September 11 at the Court of First Instance (TJB).

Over seven years ago, the AAEC compensation claim for damages resulting from the alleged breach of agreement during the 2002 bid for a gaming concession in Macau amounted to MOP3 billion.

However, in July this year, the company requested a significant raise, now claiming a sum of almost MOP100 billion. The company said the raise is for  lost profits in the period between 2004 and 2018, and reserved the right to claim for further lost profits up to 2022 when the concession is due to expire.

Lawyer Jorge Menezes, who is representing AAEC, yesterday told GGRAsia that he could only confirm that “on July 15 2019, AAEC applied for the claim to be raised to approximately USD12 billion for the period ending in 2018, plus roughly 70% of the profits made by Las Vegas Sands from 2019 up to the end of the concession.”

Menezes added that such claims have been made according to the original claims filled back in 2012 and calculated according to the official data published by local gaming regulator Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau.

Menezes also added that such update to the amount of compensation claimed comes in light of the scheduling of the hearing session this September and aims to provide accurate data to the court.

Previous claims on the same case have been ruled upon by the TJB back in April 2014, when the court said that the case against Venetian Macau Ltd. lacked foundation, suggesting that claims should continue only against the US-based companies. The decision deserved a prompt appeal from the AAEC.

Hao’s company had also filed similar lawsuits against Las Vegas Sands in the US District Court of Nevada, but later dropped the US case and decided to only pursue the litigation in Macau.

The Sands China interim report also states that, at the moment, the company is “unable to determine the probability of the outcome of this matter or the range of reasonably possible loss, if any,” as no hearing has been held yet.

The matter of the gaming license bid of Las Vegas Sands in Macau has been addressed in more than one case and involving different companies.

Earlier this year, the company reached an agreement with businessman Richard Suen for a settlement of a similar dispute, although details over the amount given in compensation were not disclosed at the time. RM

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