4. Adelson's Wacky Wager
Any high-rollers out there want to try and take a billion off Las Vegas Sands (LVS) Chairman Sheldon Adelson?
Hey, we're not kidding. The casino kingpin offered 1,000-to-1 odds that nobody will be able to substantiate the claims of former Sands China CEO Steve Jacobs that Adelson promoted prostitution at his hotels and violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by putting a government official on his payroll. Jacobs, who is suing Adelson after being fired in 2010 for allegedly breaking company policy, made the accusations in a court memorandum released last month."If someone wants to put up a million they can hope to win one billion -- but that won't happen because there isn't a breach of FCPA. Not even a hint," Adelson told Forbes on Monday. Take that Mitt Romney you piker! We all remember your ten grand bet during the Republican primaries back when Adelson was backing Newt Gingrich instead of you, but even with all your Bain bucks you can't cover Shelly's action, so suck on that. Of course, Jacobs could place such whale-like wagers should he collect the entire $100 million in damages he is seeking. However, that figure is as ludicrous as his former boss's bet. Even though the suit has prompted the Securities and Exchange Commission to start sniffing around Sands, neither the company nor Adelson have been charged with anything. The only real hit to the gaming giant, as Adelson told Forbes, was an $8 billion reduction in the company's market value because of the bad press. Or at least that's the number according to Adelson's calculations. Heck, who knows, maybe the prostitution charges added a few dollars per share to the stock price. You know what they say about what happens in Macau right? Anyway, this whole Sands showdown is almost as absurd as the legal battle over Wynn's (WYNN) Macau unit. That fight is currently being waged between Steve Wynn and his former partner Kazuo Okada, and it has also attracted government scrutiny as a result of overblown accusations on both sides. And like his fellow casino mogul Steve Wynn, Adelson has no qualms about going all-in to win. "I'm going through right to the end. It's the only way I can prove unquestionably that everything he said was wrong. If I settle the case then people would say, 'He settled because there was evidence that would come out to show he truly was a criminal and truly had a prostitution strategy.' ... When the time comes I'll extract what's due," said the Sands CEO. Alas, Adelson will not hedge his bets, but he obviously will make silly new ones to blow this already puffed-up case even further out of proportion.
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