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Company News: Obamacare, Margaritaville, Caesars, R.J. Reynolds, Shanghai Husi Food


• Two federal appellate courts issued opposing rulings on the legality of the subsidies used to pay for coverage under the Affordable Care Act. A three-judge panel in Washington, D.C., found that under the law, the government can provide subsidies only to poor people who purchase coverage using one of the 14 insurance marketplaces run by states. A panel in Richmond, Va., said the government can also provide tax credits for policies bought on the federal exchange, in which 36 states participate. The conflicting rulings could bring another Supreme Court review of the law.

• In another sign of weakness in the gambling market, the Margaritaville Casino & Restaurant Biloxi on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast said it will close by Sept. 19. Magaritaville is the newest of nine casinos in Biloxi, which has seen a glut of gaming operations. In June, Caesars Entertainment (CZR) closed its Harrah’s casino in Tunica, Miss. In Atlantic City, one casino shut down in January and two others are slated to close later in 2014.

• A Florida jury issued a $23 billion punitive judgment against a unit of tobacco giant R.J. Reynolds (RAI). The award, to a Pensacola woman whose husband died of lung cancer, may not stand on appeal, because it far exceeds the 2003 standard the Supreme Court set for determining damages.

• China ordered spot checks of restaurants that bought meat from Shanghai Husi Food, a U.S.-owned supplier to Western fast-food operators on the mainland, after it was shut down for selling expired products. McDonald’s (MCD), Yum! Brands (YUM), Papa John’s International (PZZA), and Burger King Worldwide (BKW) say they have removed some items from the supplier.

Ellis_190
Ellis is an assistant managing editor for Bloomberg Businessweek.

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