2002 report had high expectations for Wynn diversifying Macau

The South China Morning Post (SCMP) claims to have obtained access to an official report, from 2002, describing special terms in the agreement between Wynn Resorts and the Macau SAR government when the former’s gaming license was granted during the liberalization period.

According to the newspaper, the terms have come under renewed scrutiny in recent weeks.

Citing an unidentified “gaming industry source”, the SCMP says that Macau gaming authorities are reviewing whether Wynn has engaged in sufficient diversification projects to meet the expectations outlined in the 2002 report.

The impetus for the review was a slew of sexual harassment allegations against Steve Wynn that led him to resign from numerous positions at Wynn Resorts and its local subsidiary, Wynn Macau, on Tuesday.

Wynn Macau has remained focused on the VIP segment of Macau’s gaming sector, perhaps more so than any of the other five operators.

However, under the terms of the 2002 concession agreement, Wynn was supposed to contribute to the shift from a gaming-only economy to a more general tourism destination for mass market tourists.

According to the SCMP, the 2002 report states that one of the reasons Wynn Resorts was granted the concession license over other contenders was “because its controlling shareholder Stephen A. Wynn has made remarkable achievements, one of which is that he managed to transform Las Vegas from a gambling destination into a family travel destination.”

If the anonymous source cited by the SCMP is correct, the renewed scrutiny of the Wynn concession could put the operator at a disadvantage when it comes to the license renewal negotiations that are due to be finalized in or before 2022.

Categories Macau