Las Vegas Sands Brought to Macau Court over $12B in Damages

A lawsuit filed in Macau against Las Vegas Sands (LVS) nearly a decade ago by a former casino license partner is seeking a mammoth compensation from the casino giant, Reuters reports.

Claims for 70% of LVS’s Profits

Asian American Entertainment Corporation, a company LVS submitted a joint bid for a Macau gaming concession in 2001 and then went on to switch to another partner in the process, is seeking damages of around 70% of the profits LVS made in the Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China for the period from 2004 to 2022.

The trial that is set to begin June 16 and could force the casino giant to part with $12 billion, comes at a time when LVS is facing plummeting revenues impacted by travelling and health restrictions, and just a few months prior to the expiry date of its Macau gambling concession in 2022.

The business owned by Taiwanese businessman Marshall Hao initially filed a case in the US in 2007, but their claims that LVS breached the contractual agreement were battled by LVS. Following the case dismissal for stature of limitations and procedural reasons in the US, Asian American filed the lawsuit in Macau in 2012.

According to Hao, LVS terminated the joint venture with Asian American, went on to partner with Hong Kong group Galaxy Entertainment and submitted a gaming concession application near identical to the one LVS had submitted with its former partner.

The joint submission between LVS and Galaxy went on to win a casino license in Macau and LVS has been operating with it ever since, and Marshall Hao believes the odds are on his side.

“Asian American has been winning all major legal battles in the Macau lawsuit since we filed it in 2012…we are confident.”

Marshall Hao

Case Has No Merit

LVS attempted to avoid the trial by legal action in Nevada and Macau, claiming “that this case has no merit”, and expressing its confidence that “the Macau judicial process will reach the same conclusion”.

However, confidence levels at LVS seems to have waned as in its latest annual report the casino operator clearly stated its inability “to determine the probability of the outcome of this matter or the range of reasonably possible loss, if any”.

The upcoming trial is the latest faced by the business founded by late casino mogul Sheldon Adelson for its dealings in Macau, including the securing of the gaming concession which is set to expire in 2022 and LVS will need to renew via a public tender bid.