Star Gold Coast Sues for $43 Million in Gaming Debts

The casino alleges Wong canceled a $43 million cheque he wrote for his losses over a 5-day gaming session.

The Star Gold Coast filed a lawsuit in the Singapore High Court against Wong Yew Choy. The casino alleges that the Singaporean high roller stopped payment on $43 million in gambling debts to the casino.

According to ABC, Mr. Wong lost AU$8.6 million per day during his 5-day visit to the Star Gold Coast, a casino located in the Broadbeach suburb of Gold Coast.

The Star Gold Coast lawsuit claims Wong wrote a $43 million cheque as he was checking out of the resort. Once he left the country, Wong canceled the payment.

A spokesperson for the casino said, “We are pursuing the debt vigorously. The Star is disappointed the situation involving Wong Yew Choy has forced us to escalate the matter to the Singapore High Court.”

Wong: “Errors” Were Made

Mr. Wong argues that casino staff made errors while he was playing which justifies the cancelation of his debts. For instance, he wishes to turn over the cards himself, but instead a dealer flipped the cards.

He complained to the Star casino about the series of alleged errors, so casino management wrote a return letter in which they apologized for not following Wong’s gaming preferences.

Star Gold Coast Letter to Mr. Wong

From the way the letter read, the Star Gold Coast lawsuit’s attorneys penned the reply. The letter stated, “This mistake, and the others you have experienced during your visit, have had no direct financial impact to you as, where necessary, appropriate compensation was provided at the time.”

The letter made no mention of waiving the $43 million debt. Instead, it noted that the casino compensated Wong for the dealer errors at the time of his gaming sessions. Wong Yew Choy’s lawyer declined to make a comment when an ABC reporter contacted the attorney.

Will Star Casino Win Singapore Lawsuit?

A spokesperson for the Star Gold Coast casino told ABC that the operator is confident it will win the case in Singapore. The spokesperson said, “We would not be wasting the court’s time unless we felt our position was extremely robust.”

If recent court cases in Singapore are any indication, Star Gold Coast stands a good chance of winning the case. In January 2017, Marina Bay Sands won a $2 million lawsuit against Darwin Liman, a Singapore-based high roller who refused to pay his debts to the casino.

The 70-year old businessman played high stakes games at the Marina Bay Sands since 2010. In that time, Liman accumulated $1.92 million in casino debt. In November 2016, Darwin Liman paid back $50,000 of his losses, but no more. Marina Bay Sands gave him a $28,765 rebate at the same time, but wanted full repayment otherwise.

Darwin Liman v. Marina Bay Sands

Darwin Liman eventually indicated the $50,000 payment was all the Singaporean casino-resort should expect in repayment. Promptly, Marina Bay Sands sued the businessman. The Singapore High Court ordered Mr. Liman to pay his gambling debts, along with another $113,696 in interest payments.

Several differences exist in the two cases. Marina Bay Sands is the most lucrative casino in the world (according to Forbes’ 2018 list). Though Darwin Liman is a local businessman, the High Court recognized Marina Bay Sands as an important local business operator.

Also, Darwin Liman made a flat refusal that he ever gambled at the casino. Las Vegas Sands’ lawyer, Kelvin Tan of Drew & Napier law firm, faced no legal challenge in the courtroom. Mr. Tan easily proved Darwin Liman gambled at the local casino to win the case.