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Star Entertainment loses ruling against Singapore businessman

Tue, Oct 29, 4:59pm by William Brown

A Singapore court has ruled against Australia’s Star Entertainment Group in its record pursuit of a AU$43.2 million gambling debt.

The gaming giant lost a bid to claim AU$43.2 million in unpaid gambling debts from a Singaporean businessman after a Singapore court threw the matter out last week.

Star will now instead be forced to pay 55-year-old Wong Yew Choy SG$20,000 in disbursements and costs with the Singapore International Commercial Court ruling in the businessman’s favor following a two-day hearing, according to Asgam.

The grounds for the decision have not yet been released. However, the ruling does reflect the lack of any provisions in Singapore law for the recovery of gambling debts other than those specifically outlined in the nation’s Casino Control Act.

The case is recorded as the largest casino debt case ever filed with a Singapore court.

Star Entertainment Group had pursued the 55-year-old for money he had lost on the VIP tables at The Star Gold Coast in 2018. In his defence, Wong alleged that a senior casino executive promised he would not be liable for his losses up until 29 July 2018 due to mistakes made by a baccarat dealer. In addition, he would not be liable for any future losses if further mistakes were made. When another mistake was made on 1 August, Wong claimed he immediately stopped playing.

Also in dispute was the nature of The Star Gold Coast’s loan made to Wong. According to Star Entertainment Group, Wong had requested and was given a check cashing facility for AU$40 million. This amount was later increased by another AU$10 million. Wong said he did not make any such request and instead was offered the AU$40 million credit directly.

Blank cheque was given on arrival

Wong gave Star Entertainment Group a blank cheque upon arrival which the company later filled out, to find that later that Wong had cancelled the check upon his return to Singapore.

Star has promised to appeal the decision.

The Star Entertainment Group Limited is an integrated resort company which provides gaming, entertainment, and hospitality services in Australia. The company operates through three location segments: Sydney, Gold Coast, and Brisbane. It owns and operates The Star Sydney casino, which includes hotels, an apartment complex, restaurants, and bars; The Star Gold Coast casino, which consists of a hotel, theatre, restaurants, and bars; and Treasury casino in Brisbane that comprises of a hotel, restaurants, and bars.

Last week, The Star’s (ASX:SGR)’s share price hit a new 52-week high during mid-day trading on Friday . The company traded as high as A$4.93 ($3.50) with a volume of 10190761 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at A$4.70 ($3.33).

The organisation has a market cap of $4.36 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.99. The business has a 50 day moving average price of A$4.28 and its 200-day moving average price is A$4.24. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 31.48, along with a quick ratio of 0.52 and current ratio of 0.63.

In other business related news, insider Zlatko Todorcevski bought 30,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 19th. The shares were purchased at an average price of A$3.88 ($2.75) per share, for a total transaction of A$116,460.00 ($82,595.74). Another insider Katie Lahey bought 10,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 22nd. The stock was purchased at an average price of A$3.80 ($2.69) per share, for a total transaction of A$37,950.00 ($26,914.89).


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