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High roller disaster for Marina Bay Sands

Mon, Jun 24, 6:23pm by Staff Writer

When casinos cater to a high roller, a person with nearly unlimited money to spend and a penchant for gambling, the odds are with the casinos.

These ‘whales’ of the gambling world have money to spend. And as long as they’re treated like kings, they will gamble and lose that cash. Sometimes they win, but most often they lose. That means casinos win.

Casino Aus is reporting that more casinos in Australia, Macau and the entire Asia Pacific region have been building their businesses with a focus on high-roller revenue.

Meanwhile those casino operators are also taking significant risks.

Every once in a while, a VIP gambler loses and refuses to pay, resulting in costly court cases.

In 2014, Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands catered to a Chinese business tycoon named Wang Zhi Cai.

The 63-year-old patronised the casino and accumulated a market debt of more than $8 million.

The problem was that Zhi Chai listed a false address in Australia when he applied for that credit, so when Marina Bay Sands tried to collect the debt, they were unable to locate him.

The resort, owned by Las Vegas Sands, sued in Australia to try to find Zhi Cai and collect the debt.

The case then went to the Supreme Court of New South Wales.

Justice David Davies subsequently ruled that Marina Bay Sands could move forward with its collection efforts.

The judge noted that Zhi Cai “appears to be engaging in behaviour that suggests he is trying to evade service.”

That ruling, made public The Straits Times in June 2018, also came with an order to service notice to the Australian property known to be owned by Zhi Cai and to seize assets in Australia if he ignored it.

More than $13m owed to casino

In February 2019, Zhi Cai then came forward and appealed the seizure order so that could contest the case in a Singapore court.

That High Court did set aside the default judgment from the Australian court and heard legal arguments from both sides.

The debt had climbed by that time to more than $13 million. That’s an additional $3.7 million on top for the original $10 million sum for interest and legal costs.

Last week, Marina Bay Sands officially dropped its lawsuit against Zhi Cai after pursuing him for the debt for more than five years. It was an unexpected development.

The casino’s lawyers filed a notice of discontinuance with the Singapore High Court.

According to a statement, the matter had been “resolved amicably”.

An undisclosed settlement resulted in Marina Bay Sands releasing a statement that they look forward to inviting Zhi Cai back “as a valued patron in the near future.”

There is little known about the man reporters have called a business tycoon named Wang Zhi Cai.

Wang Zhi Cai does appear to have real estate interests, though, including in China.

He is also apparently the owner of TMG International Design, a “customer experience consultants” firm located in New South Wales.

That fact corresponds with information revealed in the court filings that Zhi Cai owns a condominium near that company in Kirribilli, New South Wales.

Chinese entertainment outlets maintain that Zhi Cai married Wang Yan, a Chinese actress 12 years his junior.

Zhi Cai had at least one son via a previous marriage. Zhi Cai and Yan married in 1997 and had a son together in 2006.

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