Casino Operator MGM Mirage Abandons New Jersey for Macau
Forced by regulators to make tough decisions, MGM Mirage officials have decided to sever ties to Atlantic City gambling so as to retain their casino operating structure in Macau. The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement ruled that, in order to keep its license in Atlantic City, MGM would have to end its partnership in Macau with Pansy Ho.
Ho is the daughter of long-time Macau gambling monopolist Stanley Ho. The regulatory board objected to reputed links between the Ho family and organized crime.
Regulators controlling MGM licensing in other states, including Nevada, have allowed the relationship in the Far East to continue, but New Jersey authorities balked, saying MGM could not maintain its share of the Borgata Casino if it persisted in dealing with Pansy Ho. MGM Mirage owns half of the Borgata, while Boyd Gaming owns the other half.
MGM representatives say the company will sell its share of the Borgata over the next two years, choosing the expanding growth of the Macau gambling scene over the struggles of Atlantic City gaming.
MGM Mirage CEO Jim Murren wrote on the company website that he disagreed with the regulators' assessment of Ho, but that 'the best course of action for our company and its shareholders is to settle this matter and move forward with the compelling growth opportunities we have in Macau''.
Previously Australian regulators required James Packer and Crown Casinos to establish a distance between their partner, Lawrence Ho, and his father Stanley, in order to receive approval of the company's Macau gambling ventures.
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