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Monday, March 19, 2012

Sheldon G. Adelson Faces $375 Million Lawsuit from Former Macau Partner

AdelsonAmerican casino magnate, billionaire Sheldon G. Adelson (pictured) has been in the news a lot this election year because of his generous donations to a super PAC associated with New Gingrich.  Now he is in the news again because he is being sued for breach of contract by a former partner.  The New York Times reports that Asian American Entertainment (AAE), controlled by Shi Sheng Hao, aka Marshall Hao, has sued Mr. Adelson's Las Vegas Sands casino and is seeking $375 million in compensation.

The suit alleges that Las Vegas Sands broke off a 2001 agreement to bid for a Macau casino license.  According to the Times, Las Vegas Sands won a license to operate a casino in Macau in February 2002.  It did so in partnership with a Hong Kong based entity that has since dissolved.  AAE sued Las Vegas Sands in Nevada in 2007, but that case was dismissed in 2010 after AAE failed to retain attorneys to press the case.  So now AAE has filed its claim in Macau.  A Hong Kong Businessman, Richard Suen, won a $58.6 million judgement against Las Vegas Sands in 2008 in a separate suit relating to the Macau license, but that judgment was vacated on appeal and the case is set for retrail.

Gambling revenue rose to $33.5 billion in 2011 in Macau, more than five times that of the Las Vegas strip.  

[JT]

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