Thursday, December 29, 2011

High-Rollers vs MBS

When I read that Singapore casino operator Marina Bay Sands (MBS) was suing five of its high-rollers for a grand total of S$7.5 million, I thought that this was an open-and-shut case. I mean; you own money, you pay money right?

However upon further reading, it seen that one of the cases might not be so open-and-shut. One of the high-rollers is Takami Shinichi, a Japanese based in Singapore. MBS is claiming $1,999,324 from him. MBS alleged to have started Mr. Shinichi with a $200,000 credit line in June 2010. This was later increased to $1 million in February 2011 and then increased $2 million in April.

The problem for MBS in this case is that they should have never gave Shinichi a credit line in the first place!

Under the Singapore’s Casino Control Act, casinos are only allowed to extend credit to premium players. Premium players are players who have deposit at least $100,000 with the casino, in the form of cash, cheques or chips. Mr. Shinichi’s lawyer alleged that his client never had placed this much with the casino.

This might be a technical issue but it is an important technical issue. If Mr. Shinichi’s lawyer is correct, then Mr. Shinichi should have never been given a credit line in the first place so any increase of his credit line later on would (and should) be null and void.

MBS has refused to comment publicly on the case but if Mr. Shinichi’s lawyer gets his way (and there’s no reason to believe he won’t since MBS records would show how much Mr. Shinichi deposit with the casino), then this case may change the way the casinos in Singapore do business. This is one case everyone would be looking at carefully.

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