Macau gambling officials want answers from Steve Wynn

Officials in China's gambling enclave of Macau have raised concerns about sexual misconduct allegations against casin...

Posted: Jan 30, 2018 10:46 AM
Updated: Jan 30, 2018 10:46 AM

Officials in China's gambling enclave of Macau have raised concerns about sexual misconduct allegations against casino mogul Steve Wynn.

The intervention adds to mounting pressure on Wynn and Wynn Macau, the business that generates most of the profit for his gambling empire. The Hong Kong-listed division of Wynn Resorts has lost more than $2 billion in stock market value over the past two days.

The plunge comes after a Wall Street Journal investigation uncovered decades of sexual misconduct allegations made against Wynn, the 76-year-old founder and CEO of Wynn Resorts. The company's board of directors has launched an investigation into the allegations, which Wynn has denied.

Related: Steve Wynn remade Vegas, but China is where he makes the real money

In a statement Tuesday, Macau's Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau said it had expressed concern about reports of Wynn's "involvement in inappropriate behavior" during a meeting with Wynn Macau's leadership. It said it has asked the company for more information.

The Macau government "pays great attention to appropriate qualifications of gambling companies' main shareholders, board members as well as key employees holding important positions, and will strictly implement relevant provisions," the bureau said.

Wynn Macau said in a brief statement that it will fully cooperate with any requests from the bureau. Wynn is the chairman and CEO of the Macau unit.

Wynn Macau shares sank nearly 5% in Hong Kong on Tuesday, following a 6.5% drop on Monday. Meanwhile, Wynn Resorts' stock has been hammered in the U.S., plummeting 10% on Friday and 9% on Monday.

Related: Steve Wynn has already lost hundreds of millions of dollars

Macau is a tiny former Portuguese colony that is the only place in China where gambling is legal. Gaming revenues in the city dwarf those of Las Vegas.

Wynn is one of a handful of companies licensed to operate casinos in the Chinese territory. It runs two huge resorts there, Wynn Macau and Wynn Palace, which together generated about 65% of Wynn Resorts' total operating profit last year.

Following the allegations about Wynn reported by The Wall Street Journal, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission has said it is reviewing a license it previously issued for a resort casino to Wynn Resorts.

-- Yazhou Sun contributed to this report.

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