n one lawsuit, filed on Wednesday Hong Kong's high court, the Venetian is trying to recover us$ 3 million from Zou Yunyu, who has an estimated us$ 220 million fortune from her company, the Shanghai Gaoyuan Property Group. In the second case, the Venetian is pursuing us$ 1.5 million from Xie Xiaoqing, a businessman and deputy to the provincial legislature in Hubei province, according to Hong Kong media. The Venetian is one of four casinos owned by the Chinese arm of Adelson's Las Vegas Sands.
Adelson's fortune is valued at more than us$ 20 billion and his interests span gaming empires in Nevada and Asia, the Israeli newspaper market and Republican politics in the US. In the 2012 elections, he and his wife, Miriam, donated us$ 95 million to Republican candidates, including a massive late surge of us$ 33 million to pro-Romney political committees.
Macau earned us$ 38 billion in casino revenue in 2012, 13.5% higher than the year before.
Macau's rise to the top of the casino market has been powered by wealthy mainland Chinese gamblers, but the lawsuits highlight the difficulties in collecting debts if they return to the mainland, where gambling is illegal and debts aren't recognised by courts. Both Macau and nearby Hong Kong have separate legal systems from mainland China.
Still, the debts are a drop in the bucket for Las Vegas Sands, which reported net profit of about us$ 350 million in the third quarter, with more than 90% of that coming from Sands China, its Macau unit.