Marina Bay Sands Sues High-rollers For $5.78 MillionDecember 28, 2011 1:48 pm
The Marina Bay Sands (MBS) in Singapore is suing five of the casino’s exclusive Paiza Cub members for S$7.5 million (US$5.78 million) over alleged outstanding gambling debts.
The case has been filed in the High Court, against the five high-rollers consisting of two Malaysians, a Chinese man, an Indonesian and a Japanese man.
Takami Shinichi from Japan, who is based in Singapore, allegedly owes S$2 million, Chinese national Zhang Dechun owes s$1.94 million, Indonesian Husni Muchtar owes s$920,500, while Malaysia’s Por Boon Chuan and Chock Kok Sui owe s$518,436 and s$1.9 million respectively.
According to The Straits Times (ST) news report, the premium players’ banks failed to honour the credit guarantee cheques, which were signed by the men.
Of the five men, Takami Shinichi would appear to be the only one currently disputing the lawsuit. Singapore’s Casino Control Act stipulates that casinos can only extend credit to premium players, i.e. those who have placed at least $100,000 with the casino in cash, cheques or chips.
Consequenbtly, Takami Shinichi’s lawyer Sunil Singh Panoo is arguing that his client did not have the minimum S$100,000 credit balance in his deposit account when he started playing. Therefore, he argues, MBS was acting as a moneylender, and since MBS is not a licensed moneylender, the credit owed to them is not recoverable.
Lawyer Sunil Singh Panoo is also involved in a similar case concerning MBS versus Singaporean Lester Ong, over $241,000 in unpaid debts. Once again, Mr Singh is arguing that his client should not have been considered a premium player, with The High Court case still pending.
According to gaming analysts, the credit extended by the casino can be as high as $5 million, with repayment due anywhere between a few months to a whole year.
“Basically, this sets a precedent so the other VIPs know that the casinos are serious about collection,”commented analyst Melvin Boey from Bank of America Merrill Lynch.