In Malaysia, a High Court Judge reportedly made history on Friday by ordering local gambler, Paul Poh Yang Hong, to pay off the entirety of a debt he allegedly ran up while playing at a casino owned by Wynn Macau Limited.
According to a Saturday report from the Reuters news service published by the Malay Mail newspaper, the ruling from Judge, S Nantha Balan, is highly significant because it represents the first time a casino firm has ever been given permission to recover a gambling-related debt in the country.
Reuters reported that Malaysia’s judicial system has historically not recognized foreign gaming or wagering contracts but Wynn Macau, which is the Asian arm of Las Vegas-headquartered Wynn Resorts Limited, had won its action after convincing the Kuala Lumpur court that the defendant had signed a credit agreement pertaining to the debt worth slightly over $5 million.
The news service reported that fund manager Poh had got into trouble while enjoying a gambling session at the Wynn Macau and had subsequently argued that he was unaware of having ever signed such a contract with the brand.
Reuters cited an attorney working on behalf of the Hong Kong-listed casino firm, Vincent Law, as detailing that Poh had managed to pay off some $800,000 of his debt before being sued in 2017. It reported that the ruling means that the player is now on the hook for approximately $4.2 million plus interest although there is a chance he may appeal the decision.
Law to Reuters…
“If there is no appeal, I believe this judgment today will be the law in Malaysia for the foreseeable future. It is a good sign for the whole gaming industry.”