A multibillion-U.S.-dollar case to be heard in a Macau court, brought against subsidiaries of Las Vegas Sands Corp over the group’s Macau gaming licence, has been postponed again, with the trial rescheduled to begin on June 16, 2021.
That is according to Macau casino operator Sands China Ltd’s latest interim report, filed with the Hong Kong bourse on Thursday. Las Vegas Sands is the parent of Sands China.
The postponement of the trial – previously scheduled to start on September 16, 2020 – had been requested by the Las Vegas Sands side in June this year, due to “travel restrictions and other extraordinary circumstances resulting from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic”, Sands China noted in the interim report. The Macao Judicial Court subsequently agreed to reschedule the trial.
Asian American Entertainment Corp (AAEC), a company led by Taiwan entrepreneur Marshall Hao Shi-sheng, is claiming compensation for damages resulting from the alleged breach of agreements during Las Vegas Sands’ successful bid in 2002 for a Macau casino licence.
In July 2019, AAEC requested a Macau court due to hear the matter to allow AAEC to increase the amount of its claim to nearly US$12 billion, allegedly representing lost profits for the period 2004 to 2018. AAEC also reserved its right to claim for lost profits up to 2022, when Sands China’s Macau casino licence expires.
On September 4, 2019, Macau’s Court of First Instance allowed AAEC to increase the amount of its claim. Las Vegas Sands appealed against the decision two weeks later. This appeal is currently pending, according to Sands China’s latest interim report.
Sands China reiterated in its latest commentary on the matter: “This action is in a preliminary stage and management has determined that based on proceedings to date, it is currently unable to determine the probability of the outcome of this matter or the range of reasonably possible loss, if any.”
The casino operator added: “The company intends to defend this matter vigorously.”
AAEC’s Macau lawsuit was originally filed in January 2012.
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”Our own consensus is that any newcomers to this [junket] sector should be corporatised, and should be financially sound and able to commit a higher guarantee deposit”
Kwok Chi Chung
President of junket trade body, the Macau Association of Gaming and Entertainment Promoters