Hong Kong businessman Richard Suen wants Las Vegas Sands Corp. to pay him $347 million for services rendered to the gaming giant in Macau in the early 2000s. But a lawyer for LVS said the absolute maximum Suen deserves is $3.76 million — and at a push.
This is the trial to decide the exact figure of compensation owned to Suen — hopefully putting to bed a 15-year court battle between the two parties — which finally got underway in Las Vegas on Wednesday.
That Suen is owed at least something has been established at previously trials, although as was evident from their opening statements, each party has somewhat divergent ideas about how much that should be.
‘Suen Did Not Deliver’
Suen claims he facilitated meetings between LVS and influential Chinese officials back in 2001 when Macau was considering ending the Stanley Ho gaming monopoly and opening the market up to foreign operators.
He claims his actions ultimately led to the casino giant receiving licensing in Macau, which helped LVS grow into the wealthiest gaming company in the world, and its CEO and chairman Sheldon Adelson into one of the world’s richest people. LVS has argued during previous hearings that Suen did and deserves nothing.
What did they actually do? What was the quality of what they did? What’s the value of those services?” LVS attorney Richard Sauber asked jurors to consider, as reported by the Associated Press. “The Round Square group [Suen’s company] did not deliver what they came to the table and told Mr. Adelson they could do — deliver a license.”
“There’s no contract in this case,” he added. “What we’re here to figure out is equitable reimbursement.”
Two Percent of $17.1 Billion
Suen’s lawyer John O’Malley said that while there was no formal contract, it was understood that Suen would be paid a $5 million fee, plus 2 percent of future profits generated by Sands Macao, LVS’s first property in the enclave. From the granting of the license in 2002 to its expiration in 2022, Suen estimates the property will have yielded $17.1 billion in profits.
Suen initially won a breach-of-contract judgment of $44 million in 2008. LVS appealed, and in 2013, a Nevada jury awarded him even more, $70 million.
LVS appealed again, this time to the Nevada Supreme Court, which, in March 2016, upheld the judgment in favor of Suen, but reversed the jury’s decision on damages.
On Wednesday, the jury heard a video testimony from Adelson, who is too ill to testify in person. The 85-year-old tycoon is currently undergoing treatment for non-Hodkinson’s lymphoma.