A judge ruled Friday that a lawsuit accusing casino magnate Sheldon Adelson of graft and ties to organized crime will be heard in a U.S. court.
Las Vegas Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez ruled that a hearing over the full case will take place in a Nevada courtroom, according to The Guardian, dealing a blow to Adelson, the owner of Las Vegas Sands and a major GOP political donor.
“This matter has been pending in Nevada courts for almost five years,” Gonzalez said. “Judicial economy would be served by continuing his litigation in Nevada."
Her ruling follows a month of legal arguments over where jurisdiction in a wrongful dismissal lawsuit against Adelson should take place.
Steven Jacobs, the suit’s plaintiff, has argued that Adelson unfairly terminated him as chief executive of Adelson’s casinos in Macao, China, in a case that has remained tangled in courts since 2010.
Jacobs alleged that Adelson fired him after he blocked hundreds of thousands of dollars meant for Leonel Alves, a Macau legislator and lawyer. He has argued that the funds would have potentially breached U.S. anti-bribery laws.
Jacobs additionally charged that Adelson and Alves refused his attempts to break ties with Macau’s triads, the Chinese organized crime groups that run illegal operations there.
The case has brought new scrutiny to Adelson’s booming casinos in Macau, a wealthy Chinese territory famous for its luxurious gambling.
Adelson has wanted the suit tried in Macau on account of his casinos there operating independently of his Las Vegas locations.
A lawsuit argued in Nevada, The Guardian said, could potentially cost Adelson gaming licenses for his casinos there.
Adelson called Jacobs’ claims “delusional” during legal proceedings on April 28.
He added that Jacobs was dismissed for incompetence and has since gone “squealing like a pig to the government” with untrue allegations.
Adelson’s legal troubles may impact his generous contributions to Republican political candidates during the 2016 presidential election.
The gambling tycoon reportedly spent nearly $150 million trying to halt President Obama’s reelection in 2012.