MGM Mirage’s Macau Venture Criticized by U.S. Agency

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May 21 – In a report, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement has recommended that MGM Mirage cut business ties with its joint-venture partner in Macau, Pansy Ho, the daughter of Macau gambling magnate Stanley Ho.

The gambling-enforcement agency called Ms. Ho “unsuitable,” without providing the reasons why. The report will be looked at by state gambling officials as the company applies to renew its New Jersey casino license.

The MGM Grand Macau is a 50-50 partnership between the Las Vegas-based company and Ms. Ho, currently commanding about 6 percent market share in the territory.

Ms. Ho said in a statement that she knew about the recommendation but added that she and her advisers will need to read the report before responding. The investigative report had been written in part because MGM Mirage applied to renew the license of its Borgata casino in Atlantic City.

MGM Mirage was quoted by The Wall Street Journal as saying: “While we disagree with the recommendation of the [agency], we look forward to presenting our position at the hearing.”

Worst case scenario is the New Jersey recommendation will force MGM Mirage to choose between its Macau and New Jersey operations. Industry insiders consider Macau as the future of gambling with earnings surpassing that of Las Vegas while MGM Mirage has operations and slated future plans for New Jersey.