Australia’s Star Entertainment Group has lost a bid to claim AU$43.2 million in unpaid gambling debts from a Singaporean businessman after a Singapore court threw the matter out last week.
Star will instead be forced to pay 55-year-old Wong Yew Choy SG$20,000 in disbursements and costs with the Singapore International Commercial Court ruling in the businessman’s favor following a two-day hearing, The Straits Times reports.
While the grounds for the decision have yet to be released, it does reflect the lack of any provisions in Singapore law for the recovery of gambling debts other than those specifically outlined in the nation’s Casino Control Act.
The case was notable as the largest casino debt case ever filed with a Singapore court.
Star Entertainment Group had pursued the 55-year-old for money he lost on the VIP tables at The Star Gold Coast in 2018, however Wong alleged that a senior casino executive promised he would not be liable for his losses up until 29 July 2018 due to mistakes made by a baccarat dealer, nor would he be liable for any future losses if further mistakes were made. When another mistake was made on 1 August, Wong immediately stopped playing, he claimed.
Also in dispute was the nature of The Star Gold Coast’s loan to Wong. According to Star Entertainment Group, Wong requested and was given a check cashing facility for AU$40 million, which was later increased by another AU$10 million. Wong said he did not make any such request and was instead offered the AU$40 million credit directly.
Wong gave Star Entertainment Group a blank check on arrival which the company later filled out, only to find that Wong had cancelled the check upon his return to Singapore.
Star has promised to appeal the decision.