The Singapore Court of Appeals has denied an appeal by Sureste Properties Inc. (SPI) and Bloomberry Resorts & Hotels Inc. (BRHI), both subsidiaries of Bloomberry Resorts Corporation, against a Singapore High Court decision issued in early-2020 dismissing a 2016 ruling that the company was wrong to terminate an agreement with its former partner, Global Gaming Asset Management (GGAM) Philippines LLC.
Bloomberry, owner of Manila’s Solaire Resort & Casino, had been looking to vacate and oppose a 2016 arbitration tribunal finding that the termination of a Management Services Agreement with GGAM was wrongful.
The original finding, referred to as the Partial Award of the Arbitration Tribunal, related to the termination of the Management Services Agreement, signed in 2011, just six months after the March 2013 opening of Solaire.
Under the terms of the Agreement, GGAM – the local unit of William Weiner’s Las Vegas-based casino investment firm – was 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.
Bloomberry terminated the relationship in 2013 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 Singapore courts subsequently found the termination wrongful – affirming in the process GGAM’s ownership of and right to sell 921,184,056 shares it held in Bloomberry and ordering Bloomberry to pay damages totaling US$296 million as part of the related Final Award.
The Philippines IR operator then filed a petition to vacate the Partial Award alleging “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 (FCPA). 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.
In January 2020, the Singapore High Court dismissed Bloomberry’s efforts to vacate and oppose the 2016 ruling due to the Court finding that the FCPA investigations “do not constitute strong and cogent evidence of any species of fraud” raised by SPI and BRHI against GGAM.
That led to SPI and BRHI attempting to appeal the High Court decision, which has now been denied by the Singapore Court of Appeals.
In a Wednesday filing, Bloomberry said it has been advised by counsel for SPI and BRHI that “the arbitration award is not self-executing and must be enforced through the court of the jurisdiction where it is to be enforced.
“Philippine Counsel for SPI and BRHI has advised that, as a matter of Philippine law, the Partial Award may be enforced in the Philippines only through an order of a Philippine court of proper jurisdiction, after appropriate proceeding taking into account applicable Philippine law and public policy,” it said.