Financing of SLS Las Vegas was made a little easier when Sen. Harry Reid (D) intervened on behalf of some of Sam Nazarian‘s all-important EB-5 visa investors. The inspector general of
the Department of Homeland Security has identified four SLS investors who benefited from special treatment when Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas overturned the rulings against applicants who had been denied. “Their allegations were unequivocal: Mr. Mayorkas gave special access and treatment to certain individuals and parties. They told us he created special processes and revised existing policies in the EB-5 program to accommodate specific parties. According to the employees, but for Mr. Mayorkas’ actions, the career staff would have decided these matters differently,” read the IG’s report, but the applicants were “politically connected.”
It gets better. Rory Reid was on retainer, providing his legal talents to Nazarian’s project. (Reid fils had no comment on the matter.) At the same time, Mayorkas “also took the extraordinary step of requiring staff to Continued >>
Efforts by the local press to cover the Wynn vs. Wynn scrum were pretty well obliterated this week by a one-two punch from the New York Times. Behind the “no girls allowed” treehouse mentality of the Wynn Resorts board lurks a wealth of complexity. The primal issue is Nevada Board of Education President Elaine Wynn‘s desire to lift the $10 million cap on the amount of stock she can sell every year, which the board opposes for fear it will destabilize ownership of the company, especially CEO Steve Wynn‘s controlling position, which could take second place to that of T. Rowe Price (whom Ms. Wynn is trying to recruit). Five years ago, Mr. Wynn said, “We’re still partners in the business; I respect and value and really covet her opinion on issues. She has a real feel for the business that’s terrific.”
Whether or not he still feels that way, he’s contractually constrained from taking any stance other than supporting Ms. Wynn’s re-election to the board. Thus, she starts out with 19% of the stock at her back and she’s launched a high-profile campaign to get Continued >>
It’s been a good week for Kazuo Okada. The boss of Universal Entertainment Corp. announced that investigations of him in Japan and the Philippines had closed and given him a clean bill of health. The probes were set off by $110,000 in Okada gifts to Filipino casino regulator Pagcor. “We consider that having received the above investigation results by investigative authorities in the Philippines and Japan – which are understood to be the place of the act and the place where the results occurred for the suspicion – the investigation will be closed due to the lack of evidence,” read a company statement, alluding to license renewals of Okada’s Aruze Corp., manufacturer of gaming devices.
Yesterday, Okada received a conditional license renewal in Mississippi. The condition is that he’s cleared of suspicion in an ongoing FBI investigation of the Filipino matter. Okada blamed all his problems on the hometown paper, the Asahi Shimbun, and on Reuters. Acting like visiting royalty, Okada yelled at reporters and refused to take questions unless they were prefaced with an apology. The closest thing he got Continued >>