Sheldon Adelson, owner of Las Vegas Sands, suffered a major setback in the lawsuit brought by former Sands China CEO Steven Jacobs accusing him of wrongful termination. On Friday, Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez ruled that the case was within the jurisdiction of the Clark County District Court in Nevada. Adelson’s legal team had contested the US court’s jurisdiction and wanted the case to be moved to a Macau court.
Steven Jacobs alleges that the 81 year-old billionaire and his company wrongfully terminated his contract, and accuses them of bribery and connivance with the Asian crime syndicate.
In court hearings Adelson denied all of the charges leveled against him and Las Vegas Sands by Jacobs. He made no efforts to hide his contempt for the former employee, questioned his ability to lead Sands China Ltd. and described him as “pompous, arrogant and condescending” while on the witness stand. According to Adelson, Jacobs was removed from his position for making unauthorized deals in violation of corporate policy.
Legal analysts argued that if the case had been heard in a Macau court media and public access to information that might have revealed the inner workings of the casino industry – a major source of revenue for the tiny Chinese enclave — would have been restricted by the local authorities.
The lawsuit may have a wider fallout for Adelson-owned Las Vegas Sands, as allegations in the lawsuit include dealings with organised crime. If any of these charges are proved in a court of law, it could prompt US regulatory authorities to review Las Vegas Sands gaming licenses. Besides the company’s diversified business interest ranging from high-end property development to celebrity chef restaurants – gaming remains at the core of its multi-billion operation.