International edition
June 23, 2021

Jacobs alleges he was wrongfully fired

Adelson said lawsuit filed by Jacobs “is not a serious case”

(Macau).- Las Vegas Sands Chairman Sheldon Adelson has once again strongly criticised former Sands China CEO, Steve Jacobs. Talking at J.P. Morgan Forum, Adelson said the lawsuit filed by Jacobs against Las Vegas Sands and subsidiary Sands China “is not a serious case”.

It is pure threatening, blackmailing and extortion. That is what it is all about,” Adelson said.

In the lawsuit filed in a Nevada court, Jacobs alleges he was wrongfully fired. In the court filings, he accused Sands China and its parent company Las Vegas Sands of using improper leverage against Macau government officials.

The allegations included in Jacobs’ filings have prompted the Nevada Gaming Control Board, the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the Department of Justice and the FBI to initiate investigations into wrong practices by Las Vegas Sands and its Macau subsidiary.

Adelson said his companies are cooperating with authorities and he downplayed the accusations. He even joked saying that investigators wanted to access all his e-mails, but “I don’t have a computer. I am not an e-mail type of person. You cannot teach an old dog new trick.”

Adelson went on and ironically wondered if Jacobs’ lawyers were expecting to see former CEO Edmund Ho Hau Wah, his successor Fernando Chui Sai On and Secretary for Economy and Finance Francis Tam Pak Yuen saying they had received bribes from him.

“When the smoke clears, I am 1,000 percent positive that there won’t be any fire below it. What they will find is a foundation of lies and fabrications that were designed for the sole purpose of trying to make a settlement for a lot more money than what he felt he was entitled to.”

Adelson also accused Jacobs of destroying Sands China’s relationships with junkets in Macau. “One of the reasons why we fired him was because we told him not to get involved with direct premium players the way he wanted to,” Adelson said.

For that, he explained, the company is cooperating with junket operators in the design of the customised-VIP rooms at parcels 5 and 6 in Cotai. Sands China is also building new rooms for junkets at Plaza casino, at the Four Seasons, which should be ready in six months.

“That is the kind of attention they [junkets] want. They want to be recognized as more than just the middlemen. Our policy is that the junket reps own Macau,” Adelson stressed.

Meanwhile, Adelson confirmed the company is in talks with InterContinental Hotels Group, but also with the Marriott International and Hilton to manage one hotel tower at parcels 5 and 6 in Cotai.

The move comes after Sands China announced the termination of an agreement with Shangri-La to manage the hotel tower. Adelson said the company continues to target launching the first phase of parcels 5 and 6 projects by the end of this year, with two other portions opening up in March and May 2012.

As for the employees needed to run the properties, Adelson said the Macau government has reassured him that Sands China would have to hire one local for each non-local, unlike what happened with Galaxy Macau, set to open in May 15.

Adelson said he was informed that that “was a special case,” as allegedly Galaxy Entertainment Group had first rushed to hire non-residents, leaving the government unsatisfied. Eventually, the company was obliged to hire 4,000 locals in order to be allowed to import 2,000 workers.

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