The Philippines have reacted angrily over Steve Wynn’s decision to name them in a corruption lawsuit, being filed against a major share holder in Wynn’s company, Kazuo Okada, by banning him from opening up a new venue there, according to the recent rumors.
Earlier in February, the casino tycoon accused Okada of bribing Philippine officials with cash, which turned out to be for expensive hotel stays, and reportedly filed a lawsuit against him, in a bid to oust him from Wynn Resorts.
Reacting furiously after being accused of colluding with Mr. Okada against Steve Wynn, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. chairman Cristino Naguiat Jr. had the following to say to online gambling news in Philippines: “I have done nothing wrong. I am proud to say that since I started serving as Pagcor chair, I have not strayed away from the straight path that our President is leading us to. I promise that I will follow this as long as I am in service.”
With no breach under Philippine gambling laws found, lawmakers also bit back at Steve Wynn and accused him of dragging the good name of the Philippines through the mud. Amado Bagatsing, a representative who chaired the meeting did not see any problem with the hotel expenses Naguiat received.
“We are falling into the trap, machinations of Mr. Steve Wynn whose main objective is to oust Okada from his casino firm. What Wynn did is a direct affront to our country and its officials,” he said. “There’s nothing to it (the accommodations). However, I will take offense if chair Naguiat is booked in a cheap $40 room because that will indicate how small they regard a Filipino official.”
Things could only go from bad to worse for Steve Wynn, who is viewed by many outside America as the party in the wrong, as popular opinion has it that Macau, could now turn its back on one of Wynn Resorts ventures. Macau is rapidly growing as the Las Vegas of Asia, and the loss of a venue there would be a bitter blow to Wynn.
Macau’s move comes after Wynn Resorts are rumored to have released confidential information regarding several high rolling VIP’s. Asian gaming expert Ben Lee feels that they “appear they have breached their own security policy, not because of a government request but for the purpose of an internal shareholders’ dispute.”
Steve Wynn’s hugely unpopular actions have not gone unpunished in Asia, and should both Macau and the Philippines pull out, that will leave Wynn Resorts with only two destinations in Asia in total, providing further countries don’t backlash against the lawsuit. With no new venues available, and internet gambling in Philippines also tightly controlled, the doors could very well be shut for Steve Wynn and his company.