PR ordered to pay $2m debt to MBS

SINGAPORE - A Japanese businessman has been ordered to pay off his $1.999 million casino debt to Marina Bay Sands (MBS) - the first success of the integrated resort's long string of suits against foreigners failing to pay up.

According to The Straits Times, Shinichi Takami, 45, an employee of a local investment management firm, reportedly lost the sum of money within 10 hours while gambling in MBS in April last year.

MBS subsequently brought Mr Takami to court and requested for the High Court to pass a summary judgement on the case on the grounds that Mr Takami has no real or valid defence against its claim.

A summary judgement means that the case will not go to a full trial.

However, the permanent resident of Singapore opposed this move and asked the court for a full trial in order to defend himself.

MBS' lawyers argued that Mr Takami was a seasoned high-stakes gambler and had settled loans issued to him before.

The High Court ruled that Mr Takami would be granted a full trial on the condition that he paid the $2 million sum to the court by 4pm last Friday, to act as security in the event he loses the legal battle.

However, he failed to do so, and hence the default action of the court was taken against him.

His lawyer Sunil Singh Panoo said his client has not issued any instructions to appeal against the decision.

Despite this initial win, MBS still has more than 40 suits to go to recover debts owed by patrons, the majority of whom are believed to be Malaysians.

yamadak@sph.com.sg

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