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Howard Stutz

Date set for LV Sands Macau lawsuit

15 April 2009

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- A second lawsuit concerning how Las Vegas Sands Corp. received a Macau gambling license moved closer to the courtroom Tuesday.

A trial date of June 1 has been set in Clark County District Court for three men who are suing the casino company for a breach of contract claim.

Clive Bassett Jones, Dax Turok and Cliff Cheong claim they helped Las Vegas Sands win the right to build a casino in Macau by introducing the casino operator to the Hong Kong company that helped keep Las Vegas Sands' seemingly failed bid afloat.

The casino operator asked District Judge Ken Cory to dismiss the lawsuit. He took the motion under advisement.

Last year, following a six-week civil trial, Las Vegas Sands was ordered to pay a judgment of $58.6 million to a Hong Kong businessman who helped the company in the licensing process in 2002. The company has appealed to the Nevada Supreme Court.

In court filings, the three men claim they were owed 5 percent of the value of Las Vegas Sands' gambling license in Macau based on an agreement with the casino operator.

The men claim they assisted Las Vegas Sands in formulating a business relationship with Galaxy, a Hong Kong entertainment company in early 2002. Las Vegas Sands' original bid for a Hong Kong gaming license had failed and the three men said they arranged a meeting in Macau between officials from Galaxy, Las Vegas Sands executives and Macau Special Administrative Region Chief Executive Edmund Ho.

On Feb. 8, 2002, Las Vegas Sands and Galaxy were awarded a joint gaming concession but the companies eventually split the license.

Las Vegas Sands operates the Sands Macau, Venetian Macau and Four Seasons Macau. Financial issues caused the company to stop construction last year on four hotel-casino projects on Macau's Cotai Strip.