U.S. billionaire Sheldon Adelson’s Venetian Macau casino is suing two mainland Chinese high-rollers, including a delegate to China’s parliament, more than gaming debts totaling around HK$34 million ($4.four million).
In separate writs filed in Hong Kong’s Substantial Court this week, the casino is seeking to recover HK$23 million from Shanghai businesswoman Zou Yunyu and more than HK$11 million from Xie Xiaoqing, a delegate for the National People’s Congress.
The casino said they every borrowed cash in the kind of gaming chips.
VIP Chinese gamblers flock to Macau since it is definitely the only place in China where citizens can legally gamble in casinos, boosting the gaming revenues from the former Portuguese colony. But casinos there run the threat of not getting in a position to recover any debts as soon as gamblers return for the mainland mainly because such debts aren’t recognized by Chinese courts.
The lawsuit filed from the Venetian Macau is atypical in that most casinos prefer to depend on junket operators – agents who obtain and ferry around high-rollers and arrange credit – to gather debts in lieu of undergo the courts.
The credit agreements for Zou and Xie set an 18 percent annual interest rate on outstanding debt, as outlined by the writs.
Neither in the defendants was straight away offered to comment.
Zou was ranked 302nd out of 400 richest Chinese by Forbes magazine in 2008 with a fortune of 1.5 billion yuan ($241.23 million).
Adelson’s Venetian Macau, a unit of Hong Kong-listed Sands China , is usually a huge casino resort on reclaimed former swampland that’s now home to five-star hotels and designer shops with several of the highest sales within the planet.
Macau, a cash cow for local billionaires and U.S. tycoons for instance Steve Wynn and Adelson, raked in $38 billion in annual gaming revenues in 2012.
China has been pressing Macau to step up scrutiny of income transfers as portion of a broader move to combat corruption and promote “responsible gaming” within the casino halls in the world’s biggest gambling hub.
China imposes strict limits on just how much dollars – $50,000 – its citizens can take out on the nation, making Macau a valve for hot money escaping the world’s second-largest economy.