US judge says issue best heard in Vegas
Las Vegas Sands owner Sheldon Adelson's bid to have a court action heard in Macau rather than in the United States was defeated Friday when US federal Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez ruled that the full case could be heard in the Nevada.
Adelson is being sued by former Macau executive Steven Jacobs, who has alleged that Adelson improperly fired him in part for blocking hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments to a Macau legislator and lawyer because he felt these may breach US anti-bribery laws. Jacobs also alleges Adelson opposed his attempts to break links to Asian organised crime triads.
Adelson claims that his company was justified in firing Jacobs because he was incompetent.
The case, in which a combative Adelson spent four days under examination and at times contradicted the evidence of his own executives (see previous InfoPowa reports), has aired questionable decisions allegedly made by the billionaire.
Reporting on the latest developments, The Guardian newspaper speculates that the case potentially has implications for Adelson's Las Vegas Sands casinos because evidence of ties to criminal organisations could cost them their gaming licences.
"It could also have a bearing on the 81-year-old billionaire's considerable political influence," the Guardian report continues. "He is estimated to have spent $150m in a failed bid to secure a Republican victory over Barack Obama in the last presidential election and is being vigorously courted by Republican candidates in the next race."
In deciding against Adelson in the case, Judge Gonzalez commented: "This matter has been pending in Nevada courts for almost five years. Judicial economy would be served by continuing this litigation in Nevada."
Adelson's company is expected to appeal against the decision.
Online Casino News Courtesy of Infopowa