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Las Vegas Sands Corp. Message Board

  • ksa_97 ksa_97 May 26, 2013 6:25 AM Flag

    From Las Vegas Review - Legal Hangover:Another Sequel

    Sequels are never as good as the original.

    Just ask Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman Sheldon Adelson.

    Apparently, he wants to star in his own version of “The Hangover Part III.”

    Las Vegas Sands has lost the same breach of contract lawsuit twice in Clark County District Court.

    Despite two jury defeats in six years, Adelson is looking for another day in court on a case that now is 9 years old.

    Hong Kong businessman Richard Suen claims he helped Las Vegas Sands win a lucrative Macau gaming license in the early 2000s. He wants to be paid for his efforts.

    Las Vegas Sands maintains he did little to line up the license and deserves exactly nothing.

    A jury in 2008 ruled in favor of Suen and awarded him $43.8 million, which grew to roughly $58 million with interest. The Nevada Supreme Court, however, tossed the verdict on a technicality.

    In the retrial, which concluded May 14, a second jury sided with Suen. This time he won $70 million. With interest, the verdict could climb above $100 million.

    Adelson will try to get the second verdict overturned.

    I guess the 79-year-old billionaire hasn’t read the critics’ reviews.

    What’s a third jury going to do? Hand Suen the keys to The Venetian?

    Two Suen trials haven’t painted Adelson, or Las Vegas Sands, in a good way.

    During his testimony in April, former Las Vegas Sands President Bill Weidner told jurors the first trial “was injurious to (the company’s) relationships in China.” He also said the case never should have gone to trial.

    Weidner repeated his testimony from six years ago. Suen deserved payment for his effort. Maybe not the $328 million — which represented a $5 million fee plus 2 percent of the company’s Macau net profits — but some type of compensation.

    Adelson did himself no favors. During his day on the witness stand, he tried to come off as a folksy, self-made common man. Instead, he appeared confused and forgetful, and created a sideshow.

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    • Part Deux

      Adelson apparently wanted another crack on the witness stand before the case went to the jury but was dissuaded by his lawyers. Smart move. Additional testimony from Adelson might have persuaded jurors to give Suen everything he was seeking.

      The verdict could have been worse. The Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Tim O’Reiley reported that most of the jurors wanted to give Suen $125 million. The $70 million award was a compromise to reach consensus.

      A third Suen trial could be disastrous for Adelson and Las Vegas Sands.

      Unlike movie sequels which often recycle the same characters in a different story line, the two Suen trials never wavered from the original’s script. Adelson testified vociferously that Suen did nothing to help him or the company in Macau — an assessment rejected by two different juries.

      The Nevada Supreme Court waits, again. Trial experts said District Judge Rob Bare ran a fair courtroom and left little room for appeal. Still, Las Vegas Sands spokesman Ron Reese said there were “compelling and sufficient grounds” to overturn the verdict.

      So what should Las Vegas Sands do?

      Pay Suen. Cut losses. Move on.

      Last year, Las Vegas Sands reported revenues of $11.13 billion, of which, $6.4 billion, or 52 percent, came from the company’s casinos in Macau. In the first quarter of 2013, Las Vegas Sands’ revenues topped $3.3 billion. The company’s revenues from Macau hit $2.02 billion, or 61.2 percent.

      On a good weekend, $70 million might be found in the drop box of a single Sands Macau baccarat table.

      In other words, $70 million isn’t going to bust the company’s balance sheet.

      Last year Adelson and his family gave an estimated $100 million to failed Republican political candidates. That was his personal money. So what’s another $70 Million

 
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