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Lao Holdings files legal actions against government

Lao Holdings N.V., the parent company of Sanum Investments Limited, has filed three legal actions in the past week against the Lao Government, according to a recent press release.

The legal action is related to the violation of the 2014 settlement agreement reached by both parties, stipulating the sale of the Savan Vegas Hotel and Casino, and other assets, for maximum value to the benefit of all parties. These actions have been taken in direct response to the expropriation and planned sale of Sanum’s gaming and hotel complex located in Savannakhet, Laos.

“All of the actions taken by the Lao Government over the past two years have been a blatant attempt not only to avoid, but systematically obliterate its legal obligation to work with us in good faith,” said Jody Jordahl, president of Sanum Investments. “If the Government had followed the terms of our agreement, we would not be taking these actions.”

Lao Holdings has asked an international tribunal to revive an arbitration to hear its claims that the Lao Government breached its obligations under a Bilateral Investment Treaty, known as the Netherlands-Laos BIT. Laos has claimed that the settlement vests it with authority to sell Savan Vegas and other Gaming Assets on behalf of Sanum and the Government.

The first action, filed pursuant to the terms of the 2014 settlement agreement, alleges that the Lao Government materially breached the settlement agreement when it seized control over all of Lao Holdings’ commercial properties in Laos, including the Savan Vegas Casino.

Lao Holdings’ new action under the Netherlands-Laos BIT arises from the renewed efforts of the Lao Government to impose taxes on the Savan Vegas Casino that both provided the pretext for its seizure and will prevent it from being sold for a fair market price.

A third action, pursued in the United States, has been commenced against San Marco Capital Partners, LLC as well as its sole owner and employee Kelly Gass, alleging that both are responsible for the current mismanagement of sale efforts of the Casino.

Sanum and Lao Holdings have said they will continue to evaluate the situation and take actions as required to protect their interests.

Asia Gaming Brief is a news and intelligence service providing up to date market information for worldwide executives on relevant gaming issues in Asia.

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