Wynn Macau has won a case against a Malaysian fund manager who had owed the casino operator HKD33 million ($4.21 million).
According to a Reuters report, Wynn Macau lawyers had argued that the money owed to the company was from a credit line opened for Paul Poh Yang Hong, and not from a wagering contract, the latter not recognized in the Southeast Asian country for legal disputes.
Judge S. Nantha Balan ordered Poh to pay to Wynn the outstanding amount, from an original loaned amount of HKD40 million ($5.10 million), plus interest.
Reuters had sought a reaction from Poh’s counsel, who declined to provide comment. “If there is no appeal, I believe this judgment today will be the law in Malaysia for the foreseeable future… It is a good sign for the whole gaming industry,” Wynn lawyer Vincent Law said.
Poh had claimed not to owe the amount he was charged, nor to even being aware that he had entered a credit agreement with the casino.
The decision is said to be the first in Malaysia where a casino was able to collect unpaid dues from a client. The country has only one land-based casino, Resorts World Genting, and illegal operations are often the target of crackdowns by the Malaysian government.
Local police reported last September that over 22,000 people had been arrested in connection with gambling raids in 2018, up to that point. Usual targets are gambling dens and unlicensed lottery centers.
Last November, 118 people, mostly Chinese, were arrested in Kuala Lumpur for the running of an illegal online gambling operation. And in December, another raid resulted in the arrest of 32 Chinese nationals, said to be working in the state of Selangor against their will.
Wynn Macau owner Wynn Resorts Ltd. sued Genting Berhad last month for allegedly copying Wynn’s trademarked designs in the ongoing construction of Resorts World Las Vegas, set for opening sometime next year. The Malaysian operator has denied the charges.