Marina Bay Sands Slapped With $6.6 Million Suit, Gambler Alleges Operator Transferred Money Without Authorization
Posted on: October 11, 2019, 11:49h.
Last updated on: October 11, 2019, 01:04h.
Wang Xi, a Chinese gambler, is suing Marina Bay Sands Pte Ltd., the holding company for the Singapore casino of the same name, for $6.6 million. He alleges that the gaming operator transferred deposits from his house account to other clients.
In a suit filed in Singapore’s High Court, that country’s equivalent of a supreme court, Wang claims that in July he found out money was missing from his account. Wang said he deposited $6.6 million into an account with Marina Bay Sands over a series of transactions taking place between October and December 2015, according to court documents.
The plaintiff claims that his account was eroded via 22 unauthorized transfers by Marina Bay Sands to other guests. Court documents don’t reveal how much money was sent to those clients or how much was left in Wang’s account after the transactions took place. But he does assert he doesn’t know the parties to which the funds were transferred.
Marina Bay Sands failed to verify whether the Disputed Authorization Letters were in fact signed by the plaintiff before effecting the disputed transactions,” according to Wang’s suit.
The plaintiff says the gaming company told him it received authorization letters for the transactions in question. But he contends those documents were bogus and that his signature was placed on the forms without his consent.
Marina Bay Sands is owned and operated by Las Vegas Sands (LVS), the largest US gaming company by market value. On the city-state, the property enjoys a duopoly with rival Genting Singapore Ltd., protection that earlier this year was extended through 2030.
The Singapore venue is believed to be one of the world’s most profitable casinos and one of the crown jewels in the LVS portfolio, which also includes two Las Vegas Strip properties and five in Macau. Earlier this year, LVS said it’s looking to raise close to $3 billion to build a fourth tower at the Marina Bay Sands.
The fourth tower could be ready by 2023 and drive over $900 million in annual revenue as soon as 2024. While Singapore is home to just two casinos, the properties are important economic engines for the region. Both Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa are required to charge entrance fees there, and those charges have generated almost $1 billion in revenue for the government there.
Dubious Record Keeping
In his statement of claim, Wang says Marina Bay Sands told him original copies of the authorization letters were destroyed by Sands’ Macau unit, citing confidentiality purposes.
He says the company “failed to verify whether the Disputed Authorization Letters were, in fact, signed by the plaintiff before effecting the disputed transactions,” according to court documents.
In Singapore’s judicial system, a statement of claim is a pre-trial motion. It “sets out the relevant facts establishing the plaintiff’s claim. A statement of claim may be endorsed on the Writ and served together with the Writ,” according to the High Court.
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