Casino Company Says U.S. Ends Inquiry Into Donation to U. of Macau

Wynn Resorts Ltd. said on Monday that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission had ended an inquiry into a $135-million donation that the casino operator made to a foundation that supports the University of Macau. The company pledged the money to help finance academic activities at the university. But a former business partner of the company’s chief executive said the gift was an attempt to curry favor with those who have the authority to issue licenses to operate casinos in the Chinese gambling hub. The company said in a corporate filing on Monday that it had received a letter from the SEC stating that the commission had ended its investigation and would not recommend any enforcement action.

The accusations stem from an ongoing battle between former friends and business partners Kazuo Okada and Wynn.

Okada used to be Wynn Resorts’ single largest shareholder, but the company forcibly bought back his shares after it said it found that Okada made improper payments to overseas gambling regulators.

The two have traded accusations of unethical or illegal conduct during the extended legal, and seemingly personal, dispute.

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