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Subic Bay Legend Resorts and Casinos Inc. vs.

Fernandez
September 29, 2014 G.R. No. 193426=
FACTS:
On July 1, 1997, Bernard Fernandez, a brother of Ludwig and Deoven, filed a
complaint for recovery of sum of money and damages against the company.
According to him, he went to the casino on June 13, 1997; he handed to his
brothers $6,000.00 worth of chips belonging to him, for use at the casino.
Thereat, the company personnel accosted his brothers and confiscated his
casino chips worth $5,900.00, and failed to return the same to him despite
demand. Brothers Deoven and Ludwig Fernandez was accused of stealing
casino chips from Subic Bay Legend Resorts and Casinos Inc. They were
made to confess that the chips were supplied by a casino employee, Michael
Cabrera.
ISSUE:
Whether or not Bernard is the lawful possessor of the casino chips entitling
him to collect from the casino and award of damages.
RULING:
There is no basis to suppose that the casino chips found in Ludwin and
Deovens possession were stolen; petitioner acted arbitrarily in confiscating
the same without basis. If it cannot be proved, in the first place, that Cabrera
stole the chips, then there is no more reason to suppose that Ludwin and
Deoven were dealing in or possessed stolen goods; unless the independent
fact that Cabrera stole the chips can be proved, it cannot be said that they
must be confiscated when found to be in Ludwin and Deovens possession.
Though casino chips do not constitute legal tender, there is no law which
prohibits their use or trade outside of the casino which issues them. Since
casino chips are considered to have been exchanged with their corresponding
representative value it is with more reason that the Court should require the
casino to prove convincingly and persuasively that the chips it confiscated
from Ludwin and Deoven were indeed stolen from it. If Subic Bay Legend
cannot prove its loss, then Article 599 cannot apply; that the presumptions
that the chips were exchanged for value remains.