Philippine casino operator Bloomberry Resorts Corp has confirmed that the firm’s chairman and chief executive, Enrique Razon, and some of the group’s units have been sued in the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York. The lawsuit also names as defendants several companies associated with Mr Razon, said the casino firm in a Wednesday filing.
The lawsuit was filed on Monday by Global Gaming Philippines LLC, a unit of United States-based Global Gaming Asset Management LLC (GGAM). It seeks to confirm a US$296.6 million award made by a Singapore-based arbitration tribunal, against Bloomberry Resorts and Hotels Inc, and Sureste Properties Inc.
Bloomberry Resorts developed and operates the Solaire Resort and Casino, a property that opened in the Philippine capital Manila, in March 2013.
In September 2019, the arbitration tribunal in Singapore had ordered the two Bloomberry Resorts units to pay US$296 million to Global Gaming Philippines and GGAM Netherlands BV. 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.
In Wednesday’s filing, Bloomberry Resorts said the enforcement of that arbitral award “is on appeal in the Singapore Court of Appeals.” The statement was in a reply to a letter from the Philippine Stock Exchange.
“Mr Razon (and the companies associated with him) will vigorously oppose this shameless GGAM forum shopping and attempt to enforce an arbitral award against those who are not a party to the arbitration,” stated Bloomberry Resorts.
The casino operator said additionally that GGAM had previously “dragged Mr Razon” into a suit in Hong Kong against Deutsche Bank. That suit was related to GGAM’s ownership of 921,184,056 shares it held in Bloomberry Resorts.
“GGAM had to ask the Hong Kong court to suspend the proceedings because of … subsisting Philippine court actions. GGAM had to pay the cost of Mr Razon as the Hong Kong court considered GGAM’s implicating Mr Razon there unwarranted,” added Bloomberry Resorts.
The company also mentioned there was a lawsuit “pending in the Philippine Supreme Court” related to GGAM’s action to lift an injunction granted by a regional court in the Philippines against the sale of the stake that GGAM controls in Bloomberry Resorts.
In February this year, the Singapore Court of Appeal had dismissed a separate appeal from the two Bloomberry Resorts units regarding a partial award in favour of entities linked to GGAM.
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