It’s definitely a case worth betting on as to the outcome in the case between Adelson and Jacobs in the Nevada lawsuit.
81-year-old billionaire Sheldon Adelson, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Las Vegas Sands Corp is going to court to face charges of unlawful dismissal of the head of his Macau-based casinos, almost five years ago. The hearing starts Monday in the lawsuit instigated by the former chief executive officer of the company’s Macau unit, Steven Jacobs.
Since the incident 4 and a half years ago, this will be the first time that Jacobs has succeeded in putting Adelson in the witness box stand during the Nevada case. Jacob filed a lawsuit against Sheldon who he accuses of demanding him to carry out illegal activities such as secret investigations into the business and financial affairs of executive government officials.
Finger-pointing at who was really investigating Macanese government officials
The aim apparently was to “exert leverage” according to a court filing. However, just last month Adelson reportedly denied the allegations, arguing that “I never asked or authorized Jacobs to conduct a private investigation of or ‘create a dossier’ on Macanese officials. We believe unequivocally that Jacobs initiated the investigation on his own for his own purposes.”
Adelson, a staunch anti-online gambling campaigner claims that the investigations into Macau officials, were actually Jacobs’ dirty deeds and they only came to light only when he was wrongfully blamed after Jacobs had been fired. According to Sands, Jacobs was fired ‘for working on unauthorized deals and violating company policy’.
Other charges against him include personally condoning a strategy involving prostitution at the Macau casinos which is illegal under Macanese gambling laws although Sands claimed in a 2012 court filing that Jacobs’s allegation that Adelson approved a prostitution strategy is “demonstrably false. Mr Adelson regards prostitution as morally abhorrent. In his business, Mr. Adelson has consistently opposed allowing prostitution, regardless of any financial calculations.”
Macau’s gambling industry ouweighs Las Vegas’ 7 fold
Following a recess in the Chinese economy and President Xi Jinping and the Communist Party’s war on corruption in 2014, Macau casinos have been yielding lower revenues and Xi’s campaign was aimed at curbing money transfers by gamblers. The campaign has been keeping high rollers away since as early as 2012.
Although more gamblers Play online casinos in Macau, a former Portuguese colony’s which is 7 times larger than the Las Vegas Strip, there has been a drop in the sales of luxury goods, as some wealthy Chinese businessmen are having trouble coming to Macau to spend big bucks.
Adelson, a Boston native, says Jacobs’ accusations are just “outright lies and fabrications”. This didn’t go down well with Jacobs who also filed another lawsuit in Nevada, against Adelson, for calling him a liar. Las Vegas Sands had said earlier in the year that Jacobs is using the lawsuit as a “platform to denigrate and defame” the company and its chairman.
Sands ‘no out-of-court settlements’ policy
Adelson, the 25th richest person in the world, with a net worth of $27.7 billion, just doesn’t believe in giving money to have his accusers keep quiet so it may be a long bitter battle in state court after Sands China Ltd. decided to stick to their “Never Settle” advertising campaign with David Beckham, the former Manchester United and Real Madrid soccer football champion.
Jacobs says he has reports that will expose the company to “serious political and legal problems.” He was allowed by the courts to quote from evidence, the findings of a Hong Kong-based risk consultant who investigated an illegal connection between Sands China business associates and organized crime. Court filings have it that Sands China was involved with an alleged organized crime figure who was operating VIP Macanese poker rooms in casinos on the island.
Sands calls Jacobs use the reports blackmail as they store “extremely sensitive, highly confidential information.” While a lawyer for Jacobs, Todd Bice, said the casino wants to keep them out of the case because they are embarrassing and contradict Adelson’s public statements.
The other issue at hand is whether Sands China, which is incorporated in the Cayman Islands and listed on the Hong Kong exchange, can be sued in Nevada. However, a lawyer at Doll Amir & Eley LLP in Los Angeles, who isn’t involved in the case said of the case that Jacobs wants to have the hearing kept in Nevada because the ex-Macau casino head may want to get hold of a 2.5 million Sands China stock options, which would be harder to collect if he’s forced to bring a separate lawsuit overseas. Doll added that “There’s going to be mudslinging. You can bet your bottom dollar that Jacobs is going to bring up stuff that is uncomfortable for Sands China and for Adelson, in particular.