In Macau, the Court of Second Instance has reportedly ruled that the local subsidiary of Wynn Resorts Limited should be jointly liable for a chip deposit worth approximately $765,970 that was stolen from a junket firm operating inside its Wynn Macau integrated casino resort.
Funds went missing in 2015:
According to a Friday report from GGRAsia citing an earlier story from the Chinese-language Macao Daily News newspaper, the chips were part of an estimated $66.38 million that was allegedly pilfered from a VIP room run by junket operator, Dore Entertainment Company Limited in 2015.
Investor sought compensation:
GGRAsia reported that the lawsuit had been initiated by an individual who had invested with the junket operator in the belief that they would have received higher returns than were then being offered by a regulated bank. But, the alleged theft inside the 1,000-room venue left the backer out of pocket and subsequently saw the party file suit against both Dore Entertainment Company Limited and Hong Kong-listed Wynn Macau Limited seeking recompense.
Initial success followed by defeat:
Also responsible for the nearby 1,706-room Wynn Palace Cotai, Wynn Macau was initially successful in fighting the claim as the Court of First Instance purportedly ruled in April that only Dore Entertainment Company Limited should be liable since the chips had been allegedly pinched by a former cage manager directly from its operation.
However, the enclave’s Court of Second Instance followed up last month by finding that Wynn Macau should be jointly liable because it held the gaming concession for the property within which the alleged theft took place. The decision purportedly means that the casino operator is now equally responsible for repaying the investor’s deposit along with interest at a rate set by a regulated bank.
In its ruling, the Court of Second Instance declared that local gaming regulations have been designed to give concessionaires the responsibility for overseeing the activities of any in-house junket operators. As such, it stated that it is ‘reasonable and logical to demand’ that Wynn monitored these enterprises and hold equal liability for any negative outcomes.
Decision to make operators ‘more cautious’:
Although Wynn Macau Limited declined to comment on the ruling, GGRAsia cited Ambrose So Shu Fai, Chief Executive Officer for rival firm, SJM Holdings Limited, as proclaiming that the decision is certain to make concessionaires ‘more cautious’ when it comes to their arrangements with junket operators. He purportedly moreover asserted that the verdict had not set a legal precedent but is certain to prompt the government into crafting specific guidelines so as to prevent similar cases from arising in the future.