Macau court hears Sands US$12bn case

A former partner of the Las Vegas Sands Corp. is suing its local subsidiary in Macau over the 2002 awarding of its license in Macau, in a claim worth a staggering US$12bn.

Lawyers for the Asian American Entertainment Corp. are claiming that LVS broke their joint-venture contract unlawfully just before pairing up with Galaxy Entertainment in February 2002 for the license bids. The LVS-Galaxy venture went on to win one of two new licenses that were awarded just weeks later (the other one went to Wynn Resorts). AAE is claiming the astronomical amount because it says it is entitled to 70% of the profits of LVS subsidiary Sands China in Macau from 2002-2018.

In recent testimony, the former head regulator of Macau’s gaming industry said the addition of LVS to the Galaxy bid was clearly advantageous to Galaxy’s success, given the American company’s experience in Las Vegas. (The two companies split their license later that year, citing irreconcilable differences. This led to the creation of sub-licenses, two of which later were sold, by Wynn Resorts to Melco Resorts, and by SJM to MGM China.)

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