A Hong Kong businessman is seeking damages of US$347 million from Las Vegas Sands Corp (LVS) for breach of contract, claiming he played a key role in helping the company win its highly lucrative Macau gaming concession in 2002.
The civil suit between Richard Suen, whose company Round Square Co provided advice and key government contacts to LVS in the early 2000s, and the global casino giant entered first arguments in Clark County District Court on Wednesday, with millions of dollars on the line.
While Suen’s legal team has upped the ante by asking for US$347 million, LVS says the real value of Round Square’s work was no more than US$3.76 million, claiming it subsequently ceased offering its assistance long before LVS won a Macau gaming sub-concession.
“What did they actually do? What was the quality of what they did? What’s the value of those services?” said LVS lawyer Richard Sauber, according to Associated Press (AP).
“The Round Square Group did not deliver what they came to the table and told Mr Adelson they could do – deliver a license.”
The US$347 million figure being pursued by Suen and his team is at the very upper echelon of numbers considered by justices in two previous trials, with AP reporting they had previously pondered damage claims of anywhere from US$1 million to US$348 million.
Those trials had seen juries find in favor of Suen to the tune of US$44 million in 2008 and US$70 million in 2013 after LVS’ first appeal. A third appeal is also possible should LVS oppose the findings of this latest trial.
Sheldon Adelson’s previous video testimony is being heard by the court on behalf of the company, with the LVS Chairman and CEO unable to attend due to ill-health. LVS revealed last month that Adelson is fighting the effects of medication he is taking to treat non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.