Wynn jointly and severally liable for the repayment of Dore VIP’s debt – Supreme Court
The decision of the Court of Final Appeal is seen by experts as a landmark decision for the industry and the relationship between gaming operators and junkets.
The Court of Final Appeal (TUI) upheld a decision of the Court of Second Instance (TSI) which had previously held game dealer Wynn Resorts (Macau) jointly liable with junket operator Dore Entertainment Co. Ltd for the reimbursement in the amount of HK $ 6 million (Debt of US $ 747,482 to a VIP player.
TUI dismissed Wynn’s appeal against TSI’s decision and upheld the ruling which saw the gaming room operator as co-responsible for reimbursing down payments made with Dore Entertainment, TDM Radio Macau reported.
The case dates back to 2015, when junket operator Dore Entertainment Co., Ltd. was the victim of internal theft by casino cage manager Mimi Chow Ioc Mei, who left after stealing HK $ 700 million from the junket operator, which operated out of Wynn Macau.
In 2016, courts ordered Ms Chow to repay some MOP 103 million in funds owed to Dore.
At the time of the incident, several people claimed that they had invested in Dore Entertainment on the basis of the promise of higher returns than those offered by regulated banks, but that they had lost their money as a result of the incident. alleged.
Four of those affected filed claims totaling HK $ 64 million, but three of them failed to provide the necessary documents.
The fourth person was able to produce a receipt showing a deposit of HK $ 6 million made to the cage manager.
The surety contract having been concluded between Dore and the individual, the Court of First Instance (TJB) ruled that the junket operator was responsible for ensuring the repayment of the debt, including legal costs and interest on the deposit from September 2015.
However, in 2018, the TSI now ruled that Wynn Macau was jointly responsible for a reimbursement of HK $ 6 million, a decision now upheld by the highest court in the SAR.
A crucial decision
This court ruling is considered a landmark decision for the city’s casino industry. In an exclusive interview with Macau News Agency and Macau Business, former Gaming Inspection and Co-ordination Bureau (DICJ) Director Paulo Martins Chan said that a final ruling from the highest court on the Dore theft case would be crucial in defining the liability held by game dealers for the actions of junkets.
“If the dealer is held responsible, he will be very careful with the junkets and, in addition, the relationship with the junkets will change as well. It all depends on TUI’s decision, ”Chan told MNA and Macau Business magazine in June 2020.
Earlier this year, the former advisor to the Secretary of Economy and Finance and gambling law expert António Lobo Vilela stressed that the decision would have “crucial” implications for the industry and for the gambling sector. junket in an article published in March, in Gaming Law Review.
Mr. Lobo Vilela said in the article that a Supreme Court ruling upholding Wynn’s responsibility in this case would have an unprecedented negative and materially negative impact on the robustness enjoyed by casino operators in Macau ” .
The gaming law expert concluded that “the worst-case scenario would be that game promoters, most of whom are incorporated with the minimum share capital permitted by law and with no significant assets or no assets at all in Macau or elsewhere. , deposit in the event of bankruptcy (if they do not have the means, or do not want, to reimburse the sums in custody), leaving the casino operators to honor their obligations ”.