U.S.-based casino operator Wynn Resorts Ltd and chairman Steve Wynn (pictured) are suing hedge fund short-seller Jim Chanos for slander.
The company and Mr Wynn claim Mr Chanos falsely alleged they had violated U.S. anti-bribery laws, media reports say.
The lawsuit comes after Mr Chanos, who heads New York-based Kynikos Associates LP, in April reportedly told an audience at an invitation-only event that Wynn Resorts and Mr Wynn had violated the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
“Wynn and Wynn Resorts have been thoroughly investigated in a public manner on numerous occasions by entities such as the Nevada Gaming Control Board, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission and other government agencies,” the company said in the complaint, quoted by Bloomberg.
“At no time has any official agency suggested that there is any reliable evidence that plaintiffs, or either of them, have violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act,” the complaint added.
Wynn Resorts and Mr Wynn are seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
Mr Chanos has so far declined to comment on the lawsuit.
Wynn Resorts was investigated by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission as part of the process of applying for a gaming licence in that U.S. state. The commission last week confirmed the company as the winner of a casino licence for Greater Boston.
The U.S. Justice Department mentioned in 2013 an investigation into a US$135 million gift to the University of Macau Development Foundation by Wynn Macau Ltd, a subsidiary of Wynn Resorts. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission also investigated the case but recommended no enforcement action against Wynn Resorts.
The U.S. authorities have also been investigating Kazuo Okada, a former director of the company, over alleged improper payments to gaming regulators in the Philippines. The case is unrelated to Wynn Resorts, but the company used those claims to justify forcibly redeeming Mr Okada’s 20 percent stake in the gaming operator in February 2012.
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"If the [Macau casino] concessions are put up for bid, there will also be a lot of giant Chinese companies, some having nothing to do with gaming, which would like to take over these enormously successful casinos”
Professor emeritus at Whittier Law School in California, in the United States, and a visiting professor at University of Macau