The Sheldon Adelson-owned Las Vegas Sands Corporation is facing a $12 billion lawsuit from a former business partner in Macau.
The Asian American Entertainment Corp is suing Sands’ Macau-based company as well as three U.S.-based subsidiaries over an alleged breach of agreements surrounding Sands’ successful bid for a Macau gaming license in 2002.
The first hearing is set to take place on September 11 in Macau. The lawsuit was originally filed at the start of 2012 for about $4 billion, but last July, AAEC increased the amount of the claim in an attempt to go after what they claim are lost profits between 2004 and 2018.
Jorge Menezes, the lawyer representing AAEC, wouldn’t comment on the pending litigation but would confirm the numbers involved.
“I can only confirm that on 15 July 2019 AAEC applied for the claim to be raised to approximately $12 billion for the period ending in 2018, plus roughly 70 percent of the profits made by Las Vegas Sands from 2019 up to the end of the concession,” Jorge Menezes told Asian media outlets in a written statement.
This isn’t the first time Adelson’s company has been in legal trouble in Macau.
Last March, Sands and Chinese businessman Richard Suen were in a legal battle but settled out of court for an undisclosed amount. The lawsuit that never went to court stemmed from the help that Sands received from Suen in earning the right to operate its casino in Macau.
Despite the pending litigation, Sands is still looking to expand its operations in Asia, having recently announced plans to open a casino in Japan.
Over the last year, Japan has begun to loosen its gaming laws and allow a limited number of casinos in its country. According to Bloomberg, Sands was originally looking to break ground in Osaka but has since transitioned to plans in Tokyo and Yokohama.
The announcement came yesterday just hours after Yokohama officials announced it would take proposals for a casino. Yokohama is located about 30 minutes south of Tokyo.