A HK$33 million win by Wynn Macau in a Malaysian court case against a local businessman over unpaid debt is a “positive result” for Macau’s gaming operators, according to a legal expert in the SAR.
Jose C Alvares, a partner at CA Lawyers, said it was only fair that contracts deemed legal in Macau should also be deemed as such in other jurisdictions given Macau’s strict rules around the granting of credit.
The landmark ruling handed down by a Malaysian court last Friday came after Wynn Macau successfully argued that a HK$40 million loan to businessman Paul Poh Yang Hong was a credit agreement rather than a gambling contract. Malaysian law offers no legal recourse for gaming operators to collect gambling debts due to gambling contracts not being recognized.
“All in all, I think it is a positive result,” Alvares told Inside Asian Gaming. “Macau has strict rules concerning credit for gambling and thus it is fair to allow that contracts legal under Macau law can be enforced outside of this jurisdiction.”
Alvares added that reports on the ruling implied “the key point was that Wynn claimed the debtor defaulted on the repayment of a credit agreement as opposed to it being a claim pursuant to a lost bet. From a Macau SAR law point, it is important to note that the credit agreement always precedes the wagering contract, as the gambler must put forth the chips in order to enter into a game.”