A Nevada District Judge has ordered Macau casino operator Sands China Ltd to pay US$250,000 to legal charities. Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez ruled the firm improperly withheld documents relating to a wrongful termination suit brought by Steve Jacobs, a former Sands China president and chief executive.
The judge also ordered Sands China to cover some court costs incurred by Mr Jacobs.
Sands China, the Macau unit of Las Vegas Sands Corp, said it plans to appeal to a higher court to try to overturn the order.
Mr Jacobs was dismissed from his post in July 2010 for what the firm said was “cause”, including an allegation of unauthorised deal making, which the former Sands China CEO denied.
In October 2010, Mr Jacobs sued Las Vegas Sands and Sands China in Nevada making allegations including breach of contract and breach of good faith.
As part of the suit, his lawyers asked the defendants to produce to the court thousands of emails and other documents related to the Macau business.
But Las Vegas Sands had questioned whether a Nevada court could even claim jurisdiction over Sands China and over the wrongful termination suit.
In a 2012 order, Judge Gonzalez ruled that her court could hear the case, and that neither Sands China nor Las Vegas Sands could cite the Macau Personal Data Protection Act as an objection to disclosure of any documents. She said so after hearing that data from Macau had already been transferred to the United States by the defendants and reviewed by lawyers for the companies.
On January 6 this year, the same judge ruled that an investigation of Macau government officials – allegedly commissioned by Las Vegas Sands’ chairman Sheldon Adelson – could be used in Mr Jacobs’ wrongful termination action, but must not be disclosed to the public. Mr Adelson denies commissioning the report and claims it was Mr Jacobs’ idea.
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"I am not going to speculate on what the [casino licence refreshment] tender requirements would be. I have full confidence and faith in the Macau government to treat everyone fairly"
Wilfred Wong Ying Wai
President and chief operating officer of Macau-based casino operator Sands China