Wynn Resorts Found Liable by Macau Court in PACGOR Lawsuit
A Macau court ruled in favor of Rogelio Yusi Bangsil, a Filipino former employee of PACGOR, who sued Wynn Macau Limited for violation of local personal data protection laws. The lawsuit stemmed from a 2011 bribery case involving Japanese gaming executive Kazuo Okada’s attempt to secure a casino license in the Philippines.
Kazao Okada was a business partner with Steve Wynn at the time, as well as a major shareholder in Wynn Resorts — the parent company of Wynn Macau Limited.
By 2011, Wynn’s board of directors was trying to force Kazuo Okada to sell his shares of Wynn Resorts, because of his involvement in the Philippine bribery scandal.
To make its case, Wynn Macau Limited revealed the idenity of an employee of Philippines Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PACGOR), which is both the Philippines’ gaming regulator and a casino operator in that island nation. Rogelio Yusi Bangsil is the PACGOR employee whose name was revealed.
Louis Freeh’s Inhouse Investigation
Louis Freeh, the director of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) during the Bill Clinton administration, conducted an in-house investigation and came to the conclusion that Wynn Macau Limited had committed wrongdoing.
The Macau News Agency said former Director Freeh had been commissioned by the Hong Kong-listed Wynn Macau to discover if an “improper relationship” existed between Kazuo Okada and PACGOR’s officials. Mr. Okada is the CEO of Universal Entertainment Corporation, a Japanese pachinko parlor company which has delved heavily into casino resorts over the past 10 years.
Kazuo Okada’s Bribery Scandal
Okada was alleged to have bribed Philippine gaming regulators to secure approval for his $2 billion Okaka Manila casino-resort, which was supposed to be the most expensive integrated casino-resort ever built in the Philippines.
Macau’s Court of First Appeal ruled this week that the Wynn Macau Limited-financed investigation had violated Macau’s Personal Data Protection Act. Bangsil and his wife were 2 of 17 different people alleged to have taken bribes from Kazuo Okada. The allegation is people receive $110,000 in cash and other payments from Okada in the pivotal time when the decision to approve the casino was being decided.
Rogelio Bangsil Lawsuit
Rogelio Bangsil filed his lawsuit in 2014, claiming the unsubstantiated allegations had ruined his career in the Philippine government. At the time his name was revealed in 2011, Bangsil was the head of PACGOR’s Gaming Department.
In May 2017, Mr. Bangsil told the Macau Daily Times newspaper, “There is no truth to these allegations. They cut short my career and the whole family suffered because of that. I want to be compensated for the damages they caused us including my wife and my child.”
Steve Wynn Scandal
2018 has been a trying time for Wynn Resorts and its subsidiaries. In January 2018, the Wall Street Journal alleged that Wynn Resorts founder and CEO Steve Wynn had been involved in sexual harassment and other misconduct since at least 1973. WSF journalists interviewed 150 current and former Wynn Resorts employees, focusing on salon workers in Wynn’s Las Vegas hotels. Dozens of those interviewed claimed Steve Wynn had harassed them.
The revelations forced Steve Wynn to resign as the head of the Republican National Committee’s Finance Committee, which Wynn had been appointed to in the spring of 2017. At first, Steve Wynn, a Fox News contributor, denied the allegations and the Wynn’s board of directors stood behind their chief executive.
British tabloid newspapers and the Las Vegas Review-Journal, owned by casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, revealed new charges against Steve Wynn. Those included rape allegations, children born out of wedlock, multi-million dollar hush payments, and news stories which were buried due to pressure by Wynn’s lawyers.
Wynn Resorts Share Prices
By the time gaming regulators in Nevada, Massachusetts, and Macau said they would open probes into Steve Wynn’s conduct, it was becoming clear that Steve Wynn would have to resign. Macau and Massachusetts officials not only stated they would share information in their probes, but both said licensing for multi-billion-dollar casino resorts was on the line. Wynn Resorts share prices had declined, costing stockholders 7% of their investments.
Just this week, Wynn Resorts announced it had finally settled its long dispute with Kazuo Okada’s gaming machine company, Universal Entertainment. Wynn Resorts agreed to pay Universal Entertainment $2.4 billion to buy back his Wynn Resorts stocks, which had been bound in a deal that would have kept them off the market until the early 2020s.