© Reuters. Logo of Wynn Macau is displayed in Macau

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – A Malaysian judge on Friday ruled in favor of Wynn Macau (HK:) in a case against a fund manager who owed the casino millions of dollars, the company’s lawyer said, the first time a casino has been allowed to recover dues in the country.

Wagering or gaming contracts are not recognized in Malaysia, which means casinos do not have legal recourse for the gambling dues owed to them by its clients.

But in the Wynn case against the Malaysian fund manager, the casino’s lawyers said they weren’t seeking dues from a wagering contract but from a credit agreement that the Malaysian had failed to honor.

Wynn brought the lawsuit against Paul Poh Yang Hong in 2017 for HK$33 million ($4.21 million) he owed the casino.

Poh took a line of credit of HK$40 million from Wynn, and he had paid down to about HK$33 million before Wynn sued him, Vincent Law, Wynn’s attorney told Reuters.

Poh had said at an earlier court hearing he was not aware he had signed a credit agreement and that he did not owe the casino HK$40 million.

Judge S. Nantha Balan ruled in chambers on Friday that Poh will have to pay the outstanding amount of HK$33 million plus interest to Wynn, Law told Reuters at a Kuala Lumpur court.

Poh’s lawyer declined to comment on the ruling or whether they would appeal.

“If there is no appeal, I believe this judgment today will be the law in Malaysia for the foreseeable future,” Law said. “It is a good sign for the whole gaming industry.”

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2019-01-19