The presence of Las Vegas Sands gave any partner in the 2002 Macau casino licence bid a competitive advantage, according to the court

Macau court documents from 2002 implicate the Sands Casino in a shady casino licence system. Las Vegas Sands (LVS) was viewed as one of many companies that helped promote Macau as a desirable tourist destination, which some observers and participants in the process saw for what it was: corruption at its finest.

After LVS dropped their joint bid for a Macau casino licence in 2002, the Macau Casino Gaming Commission was left in shambles. Asian American Entertainment Corporation (AAEC) is suing for MOP$96.5 billion (US$12.1 billion) in damages. Galaxy enters the picture as an unknown entity and wins one of three licences on offer that year, just months before AAEC’s contract with Chartwell Landmark Inc. expires, having acquired their shares from Melco International Development Limited due to bankruptcy proceedings.

The remarks of two former members were read aloud in court this morning as the court began hearing about a case in which AAEC seeks MOP$ 96 billion in damages for alleged breach of contract when LVS backed out.

Former gaming commision member Maria Nazaré Saias Portela testified this week in court that the Venetian had an advantage in obtaining a licence at the time due to their expertise in resort management.

The Hong Kong Jockey Club attempted to assist LVS by awarding them the contract for Macau gaming concessions. As a result, they were able to ensure that any party involving LVS would have an advantage when bidding on these contracts due to their previous experience with game development and operation gained from running casinos in Singapore. After Galaxy split from its parent company soon after winning a gaming concession, another member of the Commission, Eric Ho Hou Yin, explained that while Game’s bid was chosen primarily because it was partnered with LVs and had no prior experience operating gambling facilities, this made sense given how much more experienced Galaxy was beforehand.

“According to Portela, ‘the original AAEC-LVS bid and the subsequent Galaxy-LVS bids were similar.'”

After years of legal wrangling, AAEC has finally filed a lawsuit against the Venetian Casino Resorts and other subsidiaries for a whopping $96.5 billion in damages; their justification? Alleged collusion with China to gain unfair market share in other countries.

According to a recent Reuters report, AAEC is now claiming LVS’s lost profits from 2004 to 2018, while reserving the right to any future losses until 2022. According to an AAEC spokesperson, this would account for roughly 70% of LVS’s total profit in Macau since 2004.

The Associated Amusement Entertainment Corporation (AAEC) has claimed all potential revenue it could have made if they had been able to fully and completely operate their concession contract as planned up until 2020, accounting for nearly 70% of Las Vegas Sands’ profitability over those 12 years despite only being operational for half of that time.

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