Macau’s Court of First Appeal has ruled that a former business partner of Las Vegas Sands Corp. can proceed with its lawsuit seeking billions in compensation for breaking the terms of their former partnership agreement, Reuters reports.
According to a filing on March 16, the Court of First Appeal (TJB) denied Las Vegas Sands’ motion to dismiss the lawsuit, which alleges the company misused trade secrets obtained during their venture.
In 2001, Las Vegas Sands and Asian American submitted a bid for a gaming license in the former portuguese colony. During the process, Las Vegas Sands switched partners, to team up with HK-listed Galaxy Entertainment, a partnership that led to the venture being awarded a license in the now, successful gambling hub.
Asian American alleges that LVS terminated its joint venture and then made a near identical bid in its submission to Galaxy Entertainment, using details that were exclusive to their previous partnership.
Marshall Hao, head of Asian American is reportedly asking for a little over 70 percent of Las Vegas Sands’ profits from 2004 to 2022, which could be around $10 billion.
According to the Macau Daily Times which quotes Jorge Menezes, a lawyer who represents Asian American, “a trial would soon be called in Macau,” and “a trial date has not yet been scheduled, but it should be set in a matter of months.”
Hao said should his company win the lawsuit, they would work together closely in order to ensure the casino operations and those employed will not be affected.
“Were we to win this legal action, as we confidently hope we will, we would work together with the relevant authorities and entities to make sure that a favorable judgment would not affect the smooth running of the casino operations and the jobs of all those who contributed to an important source of revenue to Macau. We seek compensation, not retribution,” said Hao as quoted by Macau Daily Times.
Las Vegas Sands said in a statement that it was confident the case has no merit. “We have confidence that ultimately the Macao judicial process will reach the same conclusion.”
Las Vegas Sands is already facing a number of lawsuits, including a case of unlawful dismissal involving former Sands CEO Steven Jacobs, as well as a lawsuit launched by Richard Suen, who claims that he was instrumental in helping Sands secure its license in Macau.