U.S.-based casino operator Wynn Resorts Ltd says it is unaware of any probe by U.S. federal authorities for possible failure in its money-laundering controls. The statement came after the Wall Street Journal reported that the company was under investigation by prosecutors from two U.S. Attorney’s offices and the country’s Internal Revenue Service and Drug Enforcement Administration.
“We are not aware of any investigation of the company and no agency has notified the company that it is under any investigation,” company spokesman Michael Weaver told Reuters news agency in an email.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. Internal Revenue Service had sent a letter to Wynn Resorts’ outside lawyer requesting information on the company’s top clients worldwide from 2011 through 2013. That includes Asia, where Wynn Resorts owns and manages casino hotel Wynn Macau (pictured) via a subsidiary.
In the letter, the U.S. federal agency reportedly also requested details on the company’s marketing offices both in the United States and overseas, and its internal controls against money laundering.
The report said investigations are still in its early stages. Wynn Resorts has not been accused of any wrongdoing, the Wall Street Journal added.
“As a highly regulated business we are in a constant dialogue with regulators and governmental agencies on a variety of matters and the fact that information is requested from us by an agency in no way implies the accusation of wrongdoing by the company,” Mr Weaver told Reuters.
The Wall Street Journal quoted unidentified people familiar with the matter as saying that investigators are looking into whether Wynn Resorts violated any money laundering rules in its dealings with VIP players. Investigators are also reportedly trying to determine if any high roller used the company’s casinos to launder the proceeds of drug trafficking activities.
In September, Macau’s corruption watchdog said it was still investigating a US$50 million payment made by a subsidiary of Wynn Resorts to a Macau-registered company in exchange for the company relinquishing its rights to part of what is now the casino operator’s Cotai site.
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