Boston (WWLP) - MGM Resorts doesn't believe their business dealings in Macau will reflect negatively on their "suitability" to operate a Massachusetts casino.
Hong Kong business woman Pansy Ho is a partner of MGM Grand Macau. New Jersey regulators asked MGM to cut ties with Ho in order to get their casino license re-issued. Ho is the daughter of controversial casino owner Stanley Ho, who has been linked to Chinese organized crime. By contrast, Maryland regulators have not required MGM to sever ties with Ho.
“I think Maryland looked at our overall business practices, our associations, and they, like our company, our compliance committee, are very comfortable with Pansy Ho,” said MGM Resorts Executive Vice President John McManus.
As the Massachusetts Gaming Commission investigates the financial viability, integrity and "suitability" of casino applicants, the Commission called on casino executives to talk about their overseas operations Thursday. Casino magnate Steve Wynn insisted any allegations of crime at his Macau casino are false.
“When you press them and you say is there any criminal activity going on in my company they shut up because if they said it, they couldn’t prove it, because it’s not true, and I would sue them from here to next week,” said Wynn.
The Commission said business dealings overseas and the decisions of other state regulators will factor in their decision to issue a Massachusetts casino license.
“That’s the whole point of a background check is to see whether or not there are any significant relationships between people of suspect character, particularly criminals, yes, so we will be looking hard at any such possibilities,” said Stephen Crosby, the chairman of the Commission.
MGM is petitioning New Jersey regulators to reconsider re-issuing their casino license, they say Pansy Ho no longer controls half their venture in Macau and that she’s being sued by her father, weakening any perceived control he may have over her.