The case is the latest in a string of court cases that involve Las Vegas Sands' earlier dealings in Macau. Sands was forced to pay $70 million to Hong Kong businessman Richard Suen last year, after he sued the company claiming it had failed to make good on a promise to pay him for helping it get permission to operate a Macau casino.
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Macau, on China's southern coast, is the only part of the country where citizens are legally allowed to gamble in casinos. With $45 billion in revenue last year, seven times that of Las Vegas, it has proved a gold mine for operators.
Asian American argues that Las Vegas Sands' record earnings were in large part due to its Macau resort and claims that Sands is guilty of disclosing information to Galaxy which was so sensitive that the parties "hired bodyguards" to protect the documents.
Details included the cost of the project, its impact on Macau, the construction of a Venetian-style resort casino and a partnership with Jerde Partnership International. Adelson's Macau unit, Sands China, is now the world's second largest gaming company by market capitalization, behind its Las Vegas parent.
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Asian American's Macau lawyer Jorge Menezes said the Nevada and Macau lawsuits have different causes of actions.
"Suing in Nevada does not hinder the Macau lawsuit's progress," he told Reuters.
Another case plaguing Sands is a long-running legal tussle with former employee Steven Jacobs, who is suing for wrongful termination of his contract.
Investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission are examining whether Sands has violated federal anti-corruption laws.
Despite the ongoing legal cases, Sands is building a new casino resort in Macau called the Parisian, a replica of the Eiffel Tower expected to open in the next two years.
— By Reuters