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Philippines casino removes management led by former Las Vegas Sands executives

16 September 2013

A gaming management team headed by former executives of Las Vegas Sands Corp. was removed as operators of a $1.2 billion hotel-casino complex in the Philippines late Thursday.

Owners of the Solaire Resort &Casino in Entertainment City along Manila Bay told the country’s stock exchange it terminated the services of Global Gaming Asset Management of Las Vegas because of a “material breach” of their agreement.

Global Gaming is headed by former Las Vegas Sands President Bill Weidner and other ex-Las Vegas Sands officials. The initial phase of the development opened in April.

In a statement, Bloomberry Resorts Corp., which is headed by Philippines billionaire Enrique Razon, said it terminated the management services agreement with Global Gaming.

“GGAM has not spent any material time in attending to the management of Solaire and has failed to perform its obligations and deliverables under the MSA,” according to the statement.

A Los Angeles public relations firm representing Weidner’s firm issued a statement late Thursday denying the allegations.

“Bloomberry Resorts Corporation’s assertions regarding GGAM’s performance of its obligations under the Management Services Agreement have no factual or legal validity,” the statement said. “Bloomberry has materially breached that agreement and GGAM is pursuing its rights under that contract in arbitration in Singapore.”

Solaire has 500 hotel rooms and a casino with 300 table games and 1,200 slot machines. It’s the first of four planned casinos in Manila’s Entertainment City zone.

“While the property’s chief operating officer is being terminated, Bloomberry is optimistic there is enough property level management talent remaining to effectively operate the resort,” Union Gaming Group Managing Director Bill Lerner told investors.

Global Gaming was recently named to manage the Baha Mar Casino &Hotel, the centerpiece of the $3.5 billion hotel-casino complex in the Bahamas that is scheduled to open in December 2014.

In additon to Weidner, Brad Stone is Global Gaming’s president and Garry Saunders is executive vice president.

The three were involved in the opening and managing The Venetian and Palazzo in Las Vegas and the Venetian Macau, and development of the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore while employed by Las Vegas Sands.

Weidner resigned from Las Vegas Sands in March 2009 following a long-simmering dispute with company chairman Sheldon Adelson. But one month later, the company reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission that he had been fired.