In its lawsuit against Bloomberry Resorts CEO Enrique Razon, Las Vegas-based casino investment firm GGAM is seeking to confirm a $296.6m arbitration award for the termination of a Manila casino contract. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
A New York suit
Enrique Razon, chairman and CEO of Bloomberry Resorts, is facing a lawsuit over the termination of a casino contract in Manila. The Philippine billionaire withdrew from an agreement regarding the operation of Solaire Resort and Casino in 2013.
A Philippines-based subsidiary of Global Gaming Asset Management (GGAM) filed the suit in federal court in New York on Monday. As defendants, it names Razon, two Bloomberry subsidiaries, and other US companies associated with the business tycoon.
plaintiff is seeking to confirm a $296.6m arbitration award handed down by a Singapore tribunal
The dispute relates back to 2013 when Bloomberry removed GGAM Philippines from the Solaire Resort’s management team. As a result, the plaintiff is seeking to confirm a $296.6m arbitration award handed down by a Singapore tribunal.
The lawsuit alleges that Razon is avoiding paying the funds to Las Vegas-based casino investment firm GGAM by hiding assets in the US.
What led to the dispute
Razon and Bloomberry Resorts formed a five-year agreement with GGAM during the development of the Solaire Resort and Casino in 2011. This permitted GGAM to have a significant role in operating and managing the casino once it opened. Razon terminated the deal six months after the venue began operating.
Bloomberry Resorts and its subsidiary Sureste Properties claimed that the termination resulted from a lack of high-roller traffic. The companies argued that GGAM broke its management services agreement in failing to provide as many VIP gamblers as promised.
GGAM subsequently took its grievances to a Singapore arbitration tribunal, which ruled that Bloomberry was unjustified in its termination of the contract. The tribunal ultimately dished out the $296.6m award order in September 2016.
The Bloomberry subsidiaries attempted to overturn the court’s decision, describing it as “procured by fraud” and “in violation of public policy.” This resulted in another case in September 2019, which ended with an arbitration court confirming the original ruling.
Razon hides his assets
According to Bloomberg News, the New York lawsuit claims Razon has avoided paying the $296.6m arbitration award by hiding his assets in the US. It describes “a vast network of shell companies” used by Razon and his agents to conceal his holdings in the country.
The plaintiff adds that Razon has diverted assets from the Philippines to the US to benefit himself and his family. The Bloomberry owner has also allegedly taken action to prevent GGAM from selling its stake in the Solaire Resort.
Lawyers representing Bloomberry and its subsidiaries have consistently argued that the arbitration award can only be enforced by a Philippine court.