Las Vegas Sands wins appeal against businessman Richard Suen

The judgment could have forced American casino operator to pay upwards of US$100 million.

The Supreme Court of Nevada reversed a judgment against Las Vegas Sands Corporation introduced by Hong Kong businessman Richard Suen and his Round Square Company consultancy.

US.- The Supreme Court Of Nevada has reversed a judgment against Las Vegas Sands Corporation that could have forced the American casino operator to pay upwards of US$100 million to Hong Kong businessman Richard Suen and his Round Square Company consultancy.

Back in 2004, Suen sued Las Vegas Sands Corporation claiming that he had arranged meetings in Beijing between company boss Sheldon Adelson and Chinese Vice-Premier Qian Qichen and Beijing mayor Liu Qi that led to the American firm being given permission to build, finance and operate casinos in Macau. Then, a jury in Clark County agreed and awarded Suen US$70 million, which has since grown with interest and costs to more than US$100 million.

Las Vegas Sands Corporation, the operator of Sands Macao, The Venetian Macao and Sands Cotai Central in the former Portuguese enclave, appealed the ruling and claimed that Suen had contributed nothing towards obtaining a casino license. The company’s lawyers also argued that Macau authorities had made their decision independent from central government influence.

On its part, the Supreme Court of Nevada declared that these efforts were not worth US$70 million as a lower court had ordered, despite stating in its July 22 ruling that meetings set up by Suen and two colleagues almost 20 years ago had helped the Las Vegas-based gaming giant secure a casino license in Macau. However, it additionally ruled that a US$1 million compensation package earlier suggested by Las Vegas Sands Corporation was unacceptable and ordered a lower court to determine a more appropriate level of recompense.