Macau’s Court of First Instance has dismissed a lawsuit from a former official of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor) brought against casino operator Wynn Macau Ltd. The news was broken by local Portuguese-language newspaper Hoje Macau.
Rogelio Bangsil had claimed in his action – seeking MOP10 million (US$1.25 million) in damages – that his personal data had been wrongfully and unlawfully disclosed to other parties following a stay by him and his wife at Wynn Macau’s hotel. He asserted the leak had damaged his reputation and his career at Pagcor, the Philippine casino regulator.
Mr Bangsil was named in a 2011 report compiled by former U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation director, Louis Freeh. That report was used by Wynn Macau Ltd’s U.S.-based parent Wynn Resorts Ltd, to imply there had been an improper relationship between the then-Wynn Resorts shareholder, Japanese entreprenueur Kazuo Okada, and some people that were Pagcor officials around that period.
In 2012, Macau’s Office for Personal Data Protection found Wynn Macau Ltd guilty of unauthorised transfer of information outside the Macau Special Administrative Region and fined the firm MOP20,000 (US$2,500).
The Freeh report alleged that Mr Okada had made MOP880,000-worth of payments and gifts to 17 people, including Mr Bangsil and his wife, when the relevant people stayed at Wynn Macau’s hotel on dates between June 2008 and June 2011. It was alleged in the Freeh report that the gestures were made to gain support with Philippine gaming regulators for a casino project Mr Okada was pursuing in Manila independently of Wynn Resorts.
In 2012 Mr Okada was kicked off the Wynn Resorts board and had the shareholding in the group – held in his name by Aruze USA Inc – cancelled in return for a promissory note at a discount to then market value. He has always denied the allegations of wrongdoing.
A US$2.4-billion settlement announced in March this year by Wynn Resorts Ltd relating to the earlier forced redemption of the relevant stock was a proof of personal “innocence”, Mr Okada said in an interview in Hong Kong that month.
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Analyst at Roth Capital Partners