Wynn Macau Wins Gambling Debt Lawsuit against Malaysian Gambler

In an unprecedented move, Malaysian court allowed Wynn Macau to collect its dues from a gambler

A Malaysian court sided on Friday with Wynn Macau in a multi-million-dollar lawsuit against a fund manager who had gambled at the Macau-based casino and had owed it millions of dollars, Reuters reported citing Wynn’s lawyer.

In an unprecedented ruling, Judge S. Nantha Balan said yesterday that fund manager Paul Poh Yang Hong will have to pay Wynn Macau HK$33 million (approx. $4.21 million) in an outstanding debt to the gambling venue plus interest as a result from his failure to pay his due on time.

Wynn filed a lawsuit against Mr. Poh in 2017. The casino claimed that its gambler had owed it HK$33 million before suing him. The fund manager had been extended a line of credit of HK$40 million to gamble at the property. He had managed to pay down to about HK$33 million before being brought to court.

The Friday ruling was the first time when a casino has been allowed to collect dues from gamblers in Malaysia. The country’s current law does not recognize gambling contracts, which means that casinos do not have legal recourse for the funds they are owed by gamblers.

Friday’s Ruling

In the lawsuit against Mr. Poh, Wynn Macau’s legal team has argued that the casino was not seeking dues from a gambling contract but from a credit agreement the fund manager had agreed to, but had failed to honor afterward.

As mentioned above, Mr. Poh had taken HK$40 million to gamble at Wynn Macau, an amount he had only been able to recover a fraction of. During previous hearings, the fund manager said that he was not aware he had penned a credit agreement and that he did not think he owed money to the Macau-based gambling venue.

In a ruling from yesterday, Judge S. Nantha Balan ruled in favor of Wynn Macau in the case and ordered the gambler the outstanding amount of HK$33 million as well as interest.

Mr. Poh’s lawyer declined to comment on the ruling. It is also still unknown whether the gambler would opt to appeal the court’s decision.

Commenting on the latest development in the case, Wynn Macau’s lawyer, Vincent Law said that if Mr. Poh decides not to appeal the ruling, yesterday’s judgment “will be the law in Malaysia for the foreseeable future.” The lawyer added that the Malaysian court’s decision was good news for the whole gambling industry.

Wynn Macau opened doors in 2006 to become the first Macau-based property of Las Vegas gaming and hospitality powerhouse Wynn Resorts. The company opened its second integrated resort in the gambling mecca – Wynn Palace – in the summer of 2016.

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