Sunday, April 3, 2016 : MORE LEGAL WOES FOR LAS VEGAS SANDS
Adelson-owned Macau operations facing a massive claim by former partner.
Sheldon Adelson's Las Vegas Sands operation in Macau faces more legal problems following a Macau court ruling this week that litigation by a former partner can proceed despite an LVS bid to dismiss the case.
Launched by Taiwanese businessman Marshall Hao's company Asian American, the lawsuit seeks billions of dollars in damages and accuses LVS of breaking the terms of a former partnership agreement. The suit alleges that LVS and its owner Sheldon Adelson misused trade secrets obtained during the partnership.
Hao is asking the court to award his company around 70 percent of Las Vegas Sands' profits between 2004 and 2022, a staggering $8 billion according to Reuters news agency calculations.
Responding to the Macau court's rejection of its request that the case be dismissed, LVS said in a statement this week:
"The company has consistently maintained that this case has no merit. We have confidence that ultimately the Macao judicial process will reach the same conclusion."
Hao’s lawyer Jorge Menezes said the court had not yet set a date, but a hearing should take place in the coming months.
Reuters outlines the history of the issue, reporting that the LVS-Asian American partnership submitted a bid for a gaming concession in 2001 in Macau.
During the process, Las Vegas Sands dropped Asian American for a new partner, Galaxy Entertainment, a venture that went on to win a Macau licence ten years ago.
The Asian American lawsuit claims that after Las Vegas Sands terminated their joint venture, LVS went on to make a near identical bid submission with Galaxy, using details that were exclusive to the prior Asian American partnership.
"We are delighted and looking forward to see this dispute adjudicated on the merits for the first time. We have walked a long and difficult path to reach this goal," Hao told Reuters.
The news agency observes that the outcome could focus unwanted and negative attention as the Macau government considers whether to extend operator licenses on expiration in 2020.