Ly Sam, a Vietnamese-American who has filed a suit against a Ho Chi Minh City casino for not paying him US$55.5 million he won while gambling in 2009, has the law on his side, a lawyer has said.
Tran Cong Ly Tao, a member of the city Bar, said Dai Duong Joint Venture Company, which owns the Palazzo Club at the five-star Sheraton Saigon Hotel, has no choice but to pay up.
After he won the money while playing a game called the Landlord on October 25, 2009, Sam asked the club for a written confirmation of his winning.
The club manager refused but said Dai Duong will pay him within three days.
Sam himself made a report and asked other players at the club to sign as witnesses.
But the money was not forthcoming and despite two requests from Sam, Dai Duong did not pay.
Eventually, Ewarton Consultancy, an affiliate of Dai Duong, told him that due to “some fault” with the game machine, the result was “invalid.”
‘Some fault’ not acceptable
Mai Xuan Binh, the presiding judge at the People’s Court of District 1, HCMC, said the case will be heard at the soonest.
It was scheduled for trial before Tet early this month, but was postponed when the court received additional evidence from both sides, he said.
“This … involves the biggest ever claim in Vietnam,” he added.
Tao said: “Dai Duong Joint Venture must pay the money. Players pay money to play and so when a player wins, the game operator must pay the winner.”
He emphasized that it is unacceptable for Dai Duong to say the prize will not be paid because of “some fault with the machine.”
“Even the Penal Code can be based on to charge the game operator with ‘abusing trust to appropriate assets,’” he added.
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