– The New Jersey Casino Control Commission
today approved a stipulation of settlement
between the New Jersey Division of Gaming
Enforcement and MGM MIRAGE under which the
company will surrender its qualification
for a casino license in New Jersey and place
its 50 percent interest in the Borgata Hotel
Casino & Spa in Atlantic City into a
divestiture trust, Attorney General Paula
T. Dow and Division Director Josh Lichtblau
settlement relates to the May 2009 report
of the Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE)
to the Casino Control Commission regarding
MGM MIRAGE’s joint venture with Hong
Kong businesswoman Pansy Ho to develop,
own and operate the MGM Grand Macau hotel
casino in Macau, China. The report is being
made public today for the first time and
is posted with this release at www.njpublicsafety.com.
its report to the Casino Control Commission,
the DGE recommended, among other things,
that MGM MIRAGE’s joint venture partner
in Macau be found unsuitable and that the
company be directed to disengage itself
from any business association with her.
Rather than contest the report before the
Casino Control Commission, MGM MIRAGE decided
under the settlement to divest its one-half
interest in the Borgata. In doing so, the
company did not admit liability and retained
the right to receive all proceeds of the
sale of its interest in the Borgata.
investigated all aspects of MGM MIRAGE’S
joint venture with Pansy Ho to determine
whether its actions and business association
with her were consistent with the “good
character, honesty and integrity”
and the compliance obligations required
by the Casino Control Act.
integrity of casino operators and owners
has always been of paramount concern to
the Division of Gaming Enforcement, and
that concern extends to a licensee’s
associates,” said Director Josh Lichtblau.
“In order to maintain the public’s
confidence in safe and fair gaming, we need
to ensure the integrity of those who control
the casinos. Public confidence, in turn,
is critical to the overall economic prospects
and health of gaming in New Jersey.”
investigation included 35 sworn interviews
of 17 people, including Pansy Ho and her
sister, Daisy Ho, and numerous other investigative
and investigators made several trips to
Hong Kong and Macau, and traveled to many
other locations inside and outside of the
United States, seeking information relevant
to this investigation. In addition, DGE
staff analyzed thousands of pages of documents,
including emails and correspondence, and
contacted numerous domestic and international
law enforcement and regulatory authorities.
lead attorney for DGE was Assistant Attorney
General George Rover, who coordinated and
supervised the investigation. Assistance
was provided by Deputy Attorney General
Louis Rogacki and Assistant Attorney General
Anthony Zarrillo. The lead investigator
was Supervising Investigator Mark Sivetz,
who was assisted by Investigators Marianne
Liwacz, Bud Humphreville and Joseph Kisko.
General Dow also thanked Special Agent Arthur
Durrant III of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
and Supervisory Agent Thomas Ma of the U.S.
Drug Enforcement Administration for their
MIRAGE has a 50 percent ownership interest
in Marina District Development Corporation,
which owns the Borgata and is the entity
licensed by the Casino Control Commission.
MGM MIRAGE’s joint partner in the
Borgata, Boyd Gaming Corporation, owns the
other half of Marina District Development
Corporation and is the operating partner
of the Borgata.
MIRAGE will turn over its 50 percent interest
in the Borgata to a trustee under a Trust
Agreement which was also approved today
by the Casino Control Commission. James
R. Zazzali, former Chief Justice of the
New Jersey Supreme Court, was appointed
as the trustee. The Stipulation of Settlement
and Trust Agreement are also posted online
with this release at www.njpublicsafety.com.
MIRAGE is required to sell its interest
in the Borgata within 30 months. For the
first 18 months, MGM MIRAGE will participate
in the sale process. If no sale has been
completed in 18 months, the trustee will
have sole authority to direct the sale process
for the remaining 12 months. MGM MIRAGE
will be the sole economic beneficiary of
the divestiture trust.
Gaming will retain its one-half interest
in the Borgata, and the divestiture by MGM
MIRAGE will not affect the operation of
the Borgata. Boyd Gaming was not a subject
of the DGE investigation and report.
to the settlement, MGM MIRAGE will pay for
all regulatory costs of the trustee, DGE
and Casino Control Commission associated
with the implementation of the settlement
and the divestiture of its one-half interest.