Businessman sues MBS over use of pooled chips

Businessman sues MBS over use of pooled chips

SINGAPORE - A businessman from Hong Kong has sued Marina Bay Sands (MBS), claiming that he suffered loss and damage when he was not allowed to take over a baccarat game from a combined pool of chips he shared with a friend at MBS.

Cheung Che Kin, a patron of the integrated resort, is seeking damages from it for wrongdoing and breach of contract.

MBS denies that Mr Cheung has suffered loss and damage and has filed a counter-claim for an outstanding credit amount of $1.96 million, plus 12 per cent interest, from Mr Cheung.

Represented by Drew and Napier, MBS started an action earlier in Hong Kong last July to recover the debt from Mr Cheung, but the suit has been put on hold with both parties' consent.

According to his statement of claim filed in the Singapore High Court last year, he signed a credit agreement with MBS in March 2011.

Mr Cheung, who is represented by Tan Kok Quan Partnership, said that he and Qian Si Jie patronised the casino on Dec 14 and 15, 2012.

Before that, he had informed an MBS staff member that they would be playing together from a combined pool of chips.

The employee later told him arrangements had been made, giving Mr Cheung grounds to believe that MBS had no objection.

Over the two days, Mr Cheung was given $2 million in chips on credit under the credit agreement. The $1.96-million figure took into account a commission, or a kind of discount, given to him.

Mr Cheung and Mr Qian started playing baccarat in one of the VIP rooms on Dec 14 that year.

They continued playing on Dec 15 and placed their chips in a combined pool in the presence of MBS staff.

On the evening of Dec 15, Mr Qian was allowed to bet from the combined pool without objection from MBS staff. Later on, he stopped as he was feeling unwell.

When Mr Cheung wanted to take over (play) from the combined pool, MBS staff refused. In so doing, the defendant denied him the benefit of the use of his chips, he claimed.

Frustrated and upset, Mr Cheung left the VIP room, leaving Mr Qian, who carried on playing. Mr Qian eventually lost all the chips through those bets.

Mr Cheung said that as MBS has prevented him from accessing his chips, it is akin to forced repayment, and he is thus not liable to the defendant.

It is not known if it is common for casino players to share chips. No date has been set for the trial yet.

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