Marina Bay Sands going to trial with a Chinese national over S$3.5m gambling debt

MBS denies his allegations.

By Kayla Wong | March 5, 2018

Marina Bay Sands (MBS) is going to trial with a Chinese national, Luo Shandong, over a S$3.5 million gambling debt.

The lowdown

According to a report by The Straits Times, MBS won a summary judgment earlier to recover S$2.98 million plus interest worth of gaming debt from Luo.

But Luo, who’s the former controlling shareholder of Catalist-listed China property developer Emerging Towns & Cities Singapore, made an appeal.

This is his side of the story: 

  • He claimed to have paid his debt to a junket operator in Macau called Tian Du Gaming Promotion Company.
  • He said that Tian Du is an agent of MBS as it gets commissions from loans that MBS makes to him.
  • He did not pay MBS directly due to stringent Chinese currency control regulations that made it “a hassle” to transfer funds from the Mainland to Singapore.
  • So he paid through Tian Du as it allows him to easily make a “bank-to-bank” transfer within China and pay his debt with MBS
  • He said that after Tian Du was not able to repay the sum to MBS, the casino took legal action against him.
  • He claimed that MBS demanded payment only 2 years after it advanced credit on Oct 28, 2015 to him.

In short, Luo claimed that he’d already paid his debt in full to a company which he claimed was an agent of MBS, and that it’s none of his business if that company is unable to transfer the money to MBS.

Tian Du’s side of the story: 

  • An affidavit by Liu Jian was cited by the judge.
  • Liu is a former manager of Tian Du.
  • He claimed the company, on behalf of MBS, collected money from Luo.
  • But the money was not used to settle Luo’s debt due to a supposed dispute between Tian Du and MBS.

The judge said that because of this affidavit by Liu, he’d not dismissed this appeal, and that “the questions raised require a consideration on the merits, and after a full trial”.

And here is MBS’ side of the story: 

  • MBS is disputing Luo’s claim that it demanded payment only after two years after advancing credit in 2015.
  • MBS claimed it wrote to Luo on several occasions in 2016 to demand payment. It finally took legal action against him on Dec 22 2016.
  • MBS claimed it “never authorised Tian Du… as MBS’ agent to provide credit or receive payment from Luo on behalf of MBS”.
  • MBS also disputed Luo’s allegation that he had ‘no direct dealings’ with MBS. It said Luo obtained credit directly from MBS by signing MBS’ credit documents in the presence of MBS employees, which were countersigned by MBS employees.

In short, MBS denied Luo’s claims, saying that Tian Du is not a MBS agent, and that Luo definitely had ‘direct dealings’ with MBS before.

Top image via Sarah Ackerman’s flickr

About Kayla Wong

Kayla's dog runs her life.

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