A Malaysian man who thought hiding behind Australian laws will help him escape paying off his casino debt was in for some bitter truth.
Lim Soo Kok, a Malaysian national who allegedly has assets in Perth, incurred losses when he visited the Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore several times over four months prior to March 2013, The Straits Times reported.
According to the report, Lim opted to use the credit facilities, which asked him to repay his debt “within seven days of drawing down,” among other terms. By March 2013, the man owed SGD622,363 (US$462,391), and an ensuing negotiation resulted in both parties agreeing that Lim will have to pay the debt in SGD50,000 monthly installments.
The Malaysian paid the first installment, but then reneged on the deal, prompting RWS to file a case in the Singapore High Court, which awarded the casino a default judgment against Lim in December 2014.
Lim’s appeal failed, and RWS applied to register and have the Singapore’s Supreme Court judgement enforced in Western Australia. Last month, the Malaysian national asked the Perth court to set aside the move because it was against the state’s ban on credit-based wagering.
The Western Australia Supreme Court dismissed the move, with a judicial officer saying that the legislature enacted laws that reflect its approach to gambling and the social problems it can cause, but this does not apply universally. The judicial officer also noted that local laws that prohibit credit gaming does not “in any way” undermine the judgement obtained in Singapore.
“It cannot possibly be said Singapore is not entitled to make its own decision on that question,” the judgement read, according to the report.
Lim’s case, and the resulting court order in Perth, was significant in that it tested whether a Western Australia’s law that forbids credit-based gambling can be used to stop a judgment on casino gambling from other countries—in this case, Singapore—from being recognized and enforced in Australia.