MGM Mirage revealed yesterday in a filing with the Securities and Swap Commission it had been notified that New Jersey regulators had declined its application to say yes to Pansy Ho as a partner in Macau casino betting holdings. The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement advised the Casino Control Commission to tell MGM to end association with Ho, the girl of erstwhile Macau betting monopolist Stanley Ho.
The division conducted a four-year investigation, resulting in a seventy-four page confidential report to the particular commission. A hearing will be set, at which MGM will have the opportunity to refute accusations against Ho.
“While we disagree with the suggestion of the report, we anticipate presenting our position in the hearing, ” said MGM spokesman Gordon Absher.
It is uncertain how far the commission will drive the issue. If Ho remains a problem, MGM may be forced to sell either its 1 / 2 of the MGM Grand Macau, owned with Ho, or its half of the Borgata Casino in Atlantic Town, owned with Boyd Gaming.
But the issue may run deeper. Although Pansy Ho was already deemed acceptable by Nevada regulators, new evidence may invert that finding. Dennis Neilander, chairman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, said if the decision was due to a different interpretation of the same details, there’d be no problem.
“If there was clearly evidence not provided in order to us, then there would be an issue, ” Neilander said. If the report contains new details that cause a Nevada review, selling the MGM Great Macau may be the only strategy to the gaming operator.
Released on May 20, this year by MattMiller