Gambling mogul Steve Wynn had fun with a question at a press conference Tuesday about allegations of organized crime in Macau, the world’s largest casino market.
“I know one thing–organized crime is illegal…And one should avoid participating in organized crime,” he said. “That’s the first page of the casino owner’s handbook…actually I didn’t go any further in the book. That’s where I left it right there,” he joked.
Turning more serious, he said Wynn Resorts Ltd. has an “extensive internal investigation process” to ensure it remains compliant with regulations in the U.S. and China. “We have former FBI agents and policemen from Hong Kong and China–a whole staff of people to check things up and have access to intelligence and things that us normal people wouldn’t necessarily know about.”
Mr. Wynn, Wynn Resorts’ chief executive, said the company and its Hong Kong-listed Wynn Macau Ltd. unit vet business partners including junket operators, the middlemen who recruit mostly mainland Chinese gamblers, lend them money and collect debts.
“All of this we did out of sheer common sense and understanding the business we’re in,” said Mr. Wynn following the annual general meeting for Wynn Macau. Mr. Wynn said that his compliance committee doesn’t report to him, but to Wynn Resorts board member and former Nevada Gov. Bob Miller.