Macau License Causes Rift
By Paul
The Macau casino licenses may have been awarded, but there is controversy over one of the winners’ partnership deals. Asian American Development Corp is threatening Las Vegas –based The Venetian with court action, saying that the Venetian pulled out of a partnership bidding for one of the licenses, without notice.

According to the Las Vegas Sun, Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands, which owns the Venetian, had joined forces with Asian American to bid for a license. The Venetian was awarded a license – but as a member of another consortium, Galaxy Casino S.A.

Asian American issued a statement on March 3 accusing the Venetian of pulling out of the partnership without notice, immediately prior to the licenses being awarded. It claimed the Venetian used research carried out by Asian American to win the license.

'The partners of Asian American Entertainment Corp. have suffered not just the humiliation of loss of face or damage to their reputations in the Asian region and around the world but will continue to suffer economic loss due to the disreputable actions of the Venetian Casino and its cohorts,' Asian American President Marshall Hao said in a statement.

The Venetian said that it had extended its agreement with Asian American until January 15 this year, but when it offered to extend the agreement with “certain terms”, Asian American refused. The Venetian said that it then sent a notice of termination to the company.

Asian American said it has appealed the licensing decision to Macau’s chief executive and to the Hong Kong and Macau office of the State Council in Beijing, claiming the licensing committee was prejudiced against Asian American’s Taiwanese business connections. Asian American’s investors include the China Development Industrial Bank, based in Taiwan – which has always has strained relationships with Mainland China.

Asian American also said it is considering legal action against the Venetian in Nevada, citing loss of future earnings from the Macau casino.

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