The Philippines’ Court of Appeals has upheld a 2017 decision by the Makati City Regional Trial Court which prevents Global Gaming Philippines (GGAM) – the local unit of Las Vegas-based casino management firm Global Gaming Asset Management – from selling shares in Solaire Resort & Casino owner and operator Bloomberry Resorts Corporation.
According to Philippines news website Rappler, the Court of Appeals dismissed an argument by GGAM that a Singapore arbitration court’s 2014 ruling allowing the company to sell Php921.2 million (US$17.6 million) worth of Bloomberry shares was valid. The court instead cited the Special Alternative Dispute Resolution Rules which states that such an appeal can only be made when the trial court issues a final order.
The original ruling by the Makati City Regional Trial Court prevents GGAM from “disposing of, or facilitating, allowing, implementing and completing the sale or transfer” of shares.
GGAM’s bid to sell stems from the September 2013 termination of a casino management agreement between Bloomberry and GGAM to oversee operations at Solaire following its opening in March 2013.
GGAM counts former Las Vegas Sands President and COO William Weidner – best known for his acrimonious split from the global casino giant after helping launch Sands Macao and Venetian Macao – among its senior executives.
Speaking about Bloomberry’s decision to take the management of Solaire internal during an exclusive interview with Inside Asian Gaming in 2016, Bloomberry Chairman and CEO Enrique Razon Jr said, “What I learned immediately was that you need to have the right team. You look at what happened with GGAM – they proved to be a non-starter. It turned out that they didn’t really know what they were doing.
“They opened a casino in Macau and people knocked the doors down. When things are growing and booming, it covers up a lot of things you lack, covers up a lot of mistakes and makes people look better than they actually are. When you enter into a competitive market, that’s where the weaknesses come out.”