LVS Gets More Time Over $12bn Lawsuit Over Macau Casino Licenses
A major lawsuit against subsidiaries of Las Vegas Sands Corp in Macau is being delayed until September 16, 2020. The lawsuit is with regards to the group’s Macau gaming licenses and is claiming billions of dollars of damages. The delay in the lawsuit was revealed during Sands Corp’s filing of its third-quarter results. This lawsuit has been under process for a long time and it does not look like it is going to be cleared anytime soon with the new delay.
The lawsuit was filed by the Asian American Entertainment Corp (AAEC), a company run by Taiwanese entrepreneur Marshall Hao Shi-sheng. The lawsuit claims that Las Vegas Sands carried out a breach of agreements back when it was bidding for its Macau casino license in 2002. This has resulted in lost earnings for AAEC.
The lawsuit has been in the courts for years now. It was first filed back in January 2012 and there is no telling how long more it will be under process. This year, AAEC made a request to the Macau courts and asked for the amount of total damages to be increased to $12 billion. This was to represent the amount of profits it lost out from the period of 2004 to 2018.
The increase was due to the Sands China’s interim report for 2019 filed with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange that showed how profitable the license was for the company. AAEC additionally reserved the right to claim for profits it stands to lose up to the year 2022. This is when the Macau casino license for Sand China is set to expire.
New details on this lawsuit came to light by the third-quarter filing which showed that Macau’s Court of First Instance allowed for the increase in the claim. Las Vegas Sand went on to appeal the decision. The appeal was accepted and is currently pending.
Surprisingly, it was the AAEC that asked the court to reschedule the trial. The request was granted and the trail was rescheduled from September 2019 to September 2020.
In its filing, Las Vegas Sands wrote
The Macau action is in a preliminary stage and management has determined that based on proceedings to date, it is currently unable to determine the probability of the outcome of this matter or the range of reasonably possible loss, if any. The company intends to defend this matter vigorously.