A unit of United States-based Global Gaming Asset Management LLC (GGAM) has filed a lawsuit in New York, in the United States, against Enrique Razon (pictured), chairman and chief executive of Philippine casino operator Bloomberry Resorts Corp. The suit, filed with the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York, seeks to confirm a US$296.6 million award made by a Singapore-based arbitration tribunal.
The lawsuit was filed on Monday by Global Gaming Philippines LLC. It also names as defendants Bloomberry Resorts and Hotels Inc, and Sureste Properties Inc, two units of Bloomberry Resorts, as well as U.S.-based companies said to be associated with Mr Razon.
Bloomberry Resorts developed and operates the Solaire Resort and Casino, a property that opened in the Philippine capital Manila, in March 2013.
A summary of the lawsuit describes Mr Razon as “a Philippine national who owns real property in New York.” The case is related to the termination of a management services agreement for the casino at Solaire that had existed between the Bloomberry subsidiaries and the entities linked to GGAM. The latter group in turn has links to former casino executive William Weidner.
According to Bloomberg News, the lawsuit in New York claims that Mr Razon is hiding assets in the United States to avoid paying an arbitration award, and that he has taken actions to stop GGAM from collecting and from selling its stake in the Manila project.
In February this year, the Singapore Court of Appeal had dismissed an appeal from two Bloomberry subsidiaries regarding a partial award in favour of entities linked to GGAM, made by a Singapore-based arbitration tribunal in September 2016.
The same international arbitration tribunal ruled at the time that the Bloomberry Resorts subsidiaries were “not justified” in terminating the management services contract with the GGAM unit. The tribunal also affirmed GGAM’s ownership of – and right to sell – the 921,184,056 shares it held in Bloomberry Resorts.
The casino operator said in a February filing that, according to its legal advisors, the arbitration award was “not self-executing” and the partial award “may be enforced in the Philippines only through an order of a Philippine court of proper jurisdiction.”
In September 2019, the arbitration tribunal in Singapore ordered the two Bloomberry Resorts subsidiaries to pay US$296 million to Global Gaming Philippines and GGAM Netherlands BV. That decision was still “subject of a separate appeal …pending with the Singapore Court of Appeals,” stated Bloomberry Resorts in its February filing.
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