Sheldon Adelson's empire rolling with the punches Casino magnate Stanley Ho Hung-sun took a few more swings at his nemesis Sheldon Adelson this week, accusing Las Vegas Sands of a conflict of interest in running both casinos and ferries, and chastising it for making a land grab on the Cotai Strip. Mr Ho took particular exception to Sands' ferry business, complaining that casino contracts 'clearly state that the six gaming companies cannot interfere with Macau's other existing industries', Macau press quoted him as saying. True, Las Vegas Sands controls both Venetian Macau Limited (owner of the Venetian and Sands casinos) and Cotai Waterjets (which operates ferries between Hong Kong and Taipa Island). The complaint seems a bit rich considering Mr Ho's significant stake in both SJM Holdings (operator of 19 casinos) and Shun Tak Holdings (operator of the Turbojet ferry service between Hong Kong and the Macau peninsula). But Mr Ho's grievances over Sands' plan to sell residential units attached to its new Four Seasons hotel appear to pack a bit more wallop. After all, Cotai is supposed to be off-limits to residential development. Mr Ho complained that Sands 'intends to take advantage of a low-cost tourism project granted by Macau's government on the Cotai Strip to develop the property market'. But apparently the government has signed off on letting the US firm sell would-be buyers shares in a company that owns the apartment tower, instead of transferring title to individual flats. Mr Adelson's lieutenant, Stephen Weaver, managed to respond with a swipe of his own: 'We are disappointed that Mr Ho is making groundless accusations to cause confusion and turmoil,' he said in a press release. 'Instead of creating conflicts ... we should be working together to overcome the impact of the global economic crisis and advance the interests of the Macau community.' More legal woes for Sands Yet another lawsuit has been filed against Las Vegas Sands, this time by a former National Geographic journalist - over the decorations in the toilets at one of the company's casinos. Photographer Jodi Cobb sued the firm this week for copyright infringement after learning that the restrooms in Tao, an Asian-themed nightclub at the Venetian Las Vegas, were decorated with photos from her book, Geisha: The Life, the Voices, the Art. The iPhone versus the house The Nevada Gaming Control Board has issued a warning to casino operators over a new blackjack card-counting scheme that comes with a twist. Apparently, users of Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch can download a program via iTunes that helps keep a running count of face cards that have been drawn by the dealer (provided, of course, the casino isn't using automatic shufflers). The program works on four different card-counting methods and even features a 'stealth mode' where the screen blacks out but the device keeps running - handy for avoiding detection by nosy pit bosses. Don't say we didn't warn you.