HONG KONG (Reuters) - Kong Linghui, one of China’s best-known table tennis players and now head coach of the country’s national women’s team, is facing a HK$2.55 million ($327,000) lawsuit over a gambling debt to a luxury hotel in Singapore, according to a Hong Kong court writ.
Singapore has become a playground for Asia’s rich and famous, luring cash-rich Chinese gamblers who increasingly turned their attention to the city-state when a crackdown on corruption by Chinese President Xi Jinping took on high-rollers in the nearby gambling hub of Macau.
The writ submitted to the court by the Marina Bay Sands hotel said Kong signed a credit agreement two years ago to borrow S$1 million from it. The writ said Kong had since repaid S$545,625, but failed to offset the balance in full, leaving S$454,375 unpaid.
Kong could not be reached for comment. The hotel did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Kong is one of China’s best-known table tennis players, with two gold Olympic medals under his belt.
He made his name on the world stage between the late 90s and early 2000s when he won a total of three Olympic medals – the two golds and a silver.
Marina Bay Sands is controlled by U.S. billionaire Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands Corp.
($1 = 7.7941 Hong Kong dollars)
Reporting By Venus Wu; Writing by Anne Marie Roantree; Editing by Alison Williams