British casinos have 30 days to appeal - Tuesday 12th of July 2005

Ritz Hotel Casino Ltd and R.H.C Ltd have 30 days to appeal against a decision by the Kota Kinabalu High Court to dismiss their application to enforce an English High Court judgment against Datuk Osu Sukam.

A Kuala Lumpur-based lawyer for the two companies, Rueben Mathiavaranam, said he had informed his clients of the court’s decision.

“It is up to them to decide if they still want to pursue the matter in the Court of Appeal.?

The London Queen’s Bench Division High Court had on Nov 4, 2003, obtained judgment against Osu, a former Sabah Chief Minister, for gambling debts amounting to RM7.1 million.

The judgment came after Osu was allowed by the casino to gamble on credit.

The two companies had applied to have it registered as a judgment of the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak to recover the debt.

On Tuesday, Justice Ian Chin who heard the application, dismissed the bid.

He said that Malaysians must be protected from being enticed to gamble on credit as “to discourage this entrapment and to prevent such foreign judgment founded on gambling on credit from being registered and enforced in Malaysia.

“It was mentioned that gambling is allowed under licence in Malaysia but that is to prevent it from being run by the underworld and it was not something that is good.

“It is my view that any profit made from gambling (and prostitution) can fairly be said to be profit from vice.

“In this regard, I do not see how a casino can be likened to a bank which the Judgment Creditors appear to argue,? Chin was quoted as saying.

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