Australian Court Blocks Man’s Bid to Nullify RWS Debt
A Malaysian man with assets in Western Australia has tried to use Australian law to nullify a SGD620,000 ($460,000) debt, but has had his bid rejected in court. The man with debt owed to Resorts World Sentosa (WRS) in Singapore, tried to use Western Australia’s ban on credit-based wagering to nullify the debt.
Lim Soo Kok incurred the debt at WRS when he incurred losses multiple times over a four month period before March 2013 and then made use of the credit facilities available. Once his debt reached SGD622,363, he negotiated to repay the debt in SGD50,000 monthly installments. However, after repaying the first installment, he reneged on the deal which led to a case filed by RWS in the Singapore High Court and resulted in a default judgement awarded to the casino in December 2014.
Lim appealed the judgement and lost and RWS applied to register to have the judgement enforced in Western Australia under reciprocal arrangements between the two legal systems. In March this year, Lim applied to the court in WA to set aside the move claiming it was against public policy in the state.
The judicial officer rejected his application stating that while Western Australian law prohibits credit gaming, that does not undermine a judgement in Singapore and that while WA laws reflects the state’s approach to gambling and the social problems that can be caused by it, these laws do not apply universally.
“Having made the decision and having availed himself of that facility [credit gaming], public policy in Australia does not dictate that registration of the judgement be set aside,” wrote Master Craig Sanderson of the WA Supreme Court.
“It cannot possibly be said Singapore is not entitled to make its own decisions on that question.”
April 16, 2017