Business, Finance & Economics

Las Vegas Sands faces $375 million lawsuit


US gaming tycoon Sheldon Adelson gestures during a press conference at the Marina Bay Sands complex in Singapore in 2010. Adelson's Las Vegas Sands is facing a Macau lawsuit worth $375 million, as of March 13, 2012.



Las Vegas Sands, the casino operator controlled by the billionaire, Sheldon G. Adelson and his family, is now facing a $375 million lawsuit over how it won a gambling license in Macau, said The New York Times.

Asian American Entertainment, an estranged partner of Las Vegas Sands controlled by Taiwanese businessman Shi Sheng Hao, filed the suit, alleging breach of contract and seeking compensation.

According to The Times, the suit accuses Las Vegas Sands of breaking off a 2001 agreement improperly in order to bid for the Macau casino license. The suit is only the latest of several that have challenged how Adelson's company won what has now become one of the most lucrative casino markets. It is also the second time Asian American is suing Sands, having failed in an attempt in 2007.

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The Wall Street Journal's Market Watch took a closer look at how serious the business of gambling is in Macau. Besides Sands, Wynn and MGM Grand also operate casinos there, starting at a minimum of 300 Hong Kong dollars ($38).

While America's gambling headquarters, Las Vegas, sees 60 percent of its revenue coming from non-gambling sources such as restaurants, shows and retail, 90 percent of Macau's revenue comes from gambling.

According to Market Watch, in 2011, revenue from gambling in Macau soared 42 percent to $34 billion, and analysts expected it to jump a further 25 percent in 2012.

The latest numbers from Bloomberg show Macau's casinos have also made gains in Hong Kong's stock market, as it's the only place in China that gambling is legal, a huge draw for wealthy Chinese tourists.

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