A Singapore arbitration tribunal has ordered Bloomberry Resorts Corporation to pay damages totaling US$296 million to Global Gaming Asset Management (GGAM) Philippines LLC, the local unit of William Weiner’s Las Vegas-based casino investment firm, following the termination of a management agreement at Solaire Resort & Casino in Manila in 2013.
The ruling, which is not enforceable unless confirmed by a Philippines court, comes three years after an arbitration court found that Bloomberry subsidiaries Sureste Properties Inc (SPI) and Bloomberry Resorts and Hotels Inc (BRHI) were not justified in terminating the five-year management agreement because GGAM Philippines had delivered upon the services promised.
Signed in 2011, the agreement had seen GGAM Philippines paid US$175,000 per month for the provision of technical services related to Solaire’s design, planning, layout and construction and of services around employee recruitment.
But Bloomberry terminated the relationship just six months after Solaire’s March 2013 opening, alleging GGAM Philippines had failed to deliver on the terms of the agreement and more specifically a promise to bring high-rollers to the property. It also cited concerns over the casino’s design and layout.
The arbitration tribunal’s latest ruling orders Bloomberry to pay a Final Remedies Award totaling US$296 million, comprising US$196.2 million to buy back GGAM’s shareholding in the company, US$85.2 million in damages for lost management fees, US$391,224 as pre-termination fees and expense, and US$15 million in costs.
In a filing to the Philippines Stock Exchange on Monday, Bloomberry said it believes the tribunal’s Final Remedies Award is “fundamentally flawed in numerous respects” and will consider its options.
It has also filed a petition with the Singapore courts to vacate a partial award by an arbitration tribunal in 2016 allowing GGAM to lay claim to an 8.7% stake in Bloomberry. The petition alleges “fraudulent concealment and misrepresentations by GGAM” by signing the agreement to manage Solaire while two of its executives, including Weidner, were being investigated by US authorities for violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Weidner was President and COO of Las Vegas Sands until parting ways in 2009 following a falling out with the company’s Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson.
“If Singapore courts decide that petition in favor of [Bloomberry], the Partial Award on Liability, which is a predicate for the Final Award on Remedies, will be vacated,” Bloomberry said.