acau’s Court of Second Instance ruled on Thursday that the government unlawfully awarded Cotai Waterjets, controlled by Sheldon Adelson’s publicly traded Las Vegas Sands Corp, a license to operate ferry services without an open tender, the South China Morning Post reported.
Las Vegas Sands, the first US company to open a casino in Macau, recently suspended construction at two sites on the island while it pursues roughly us$ 881 million in financing. Sands also has indefinitely suspended construction on a us$ 600 million condominium tower between its Venetian and Palazzo hotel-casinos.
The CotaiJet ferry service was part of Adelson’s plan to improve transport links between Hong Kong and Cotai, a strip of reclaimed land on which he built the massive us$ 2.4. billion Venetian resort.
It is the second lawsuit that rival operator Hong Kong North West Express, which is competing for the ferry business, has brought against the Macau government and the Sands subsidiary.
North West Express repeatedly applied to run a ferry to Macau, but was turned down. A lawyer representing North West Express said on Saturday the ferry service will be halted if neither party files an appeal within 10 days of the ruling.
’If they don’t appeal, then the court decision is final. The service should be stopped,’ Nuno Simoes told The Associated Press by phone.
The Macau government said in a statement that CotaiJet, which runs between Hong Kong and a port near Mr Adelson’s massive Venetian Macao casino resort-hotel, would remain in service while the administration considered an appeal. Las Vegas Sands’ spokesman could not be immediately reached for comment on Saturday.