Asia Casino

Asia Casino

Wynn Macau issues investor warning after unfavourable Dore court judgement

Gaming operator Wynn Macau has made a voluntary announcement concerning the Court of Final Appeal final judgment rejecting its appeal in respect to litigation involving junket operator Dore, indicating that the decision is ‘final and binding to all parties’ but that it is still seeking legal advice from its Macau counsel in relation to the judgment.

Recently the TUI upheld a ruling by the Court of Second Instance (TSI) that previously found Wynn Resorts (Macau) S.A. (WRM) – an indirectly subsidiary of Wynn Macau and the direct gaming concessionaire holder in the SAR – jointly liable alongside junket operator Dore Entertainment Co. Ltd for the repayment of a HK$6 million (US$747,482) debt to several plaintiffs.

Several lawsuits were brought against WRM by individuals who claimed to be investors or persons with credit in accounts maintained by Dore Entertainment, an independent, Macau registered and licensed company that operated a gaming promoter business at Wynn Macau.

The plaintiffs alleged that Dore failed to honor the withdrawal of funds deposited with the junket after a former employee absconded with almost HK$700 million in 2015.

The final judgment was issued on November 19 and rejected an appeal of WRM against a TSI judgment on October 11, 2018, which ruled that WRM was held jointly liable to one of the Plaintiffs for Dore’s failure to honor its fund withdrawal obligation of HK$6 million.

‘Pursuant to the Judgment, WRM shall be jointly liable with Dore to pay HK$6.0 million, together with the relevant interests of about HK$3.65 million, to such plaintiff […] The shareholders and potential investors of the Company are advised to exercise caution when dealing in the shares of the Company,’ Wynn’s Chairman, Alan Zeman, says in a filing submitted to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

This court decision is seen by experts as a landmark ruling for the city’s casino industry. In an exclusive interview with Macau News Agency and Macau Business, former director of the Gaming Inspection and Co-ordination Bureau (DICJ) Paulo Martins Chan said that a final ruling by the top court on the Dore theft case would be crucial in defining the responsibility held by gaming concessionaires for the actions of junkets.