Wynn Says SEC Ends Probe on Donation, Won’t Take Action

Wynn Resorts Ltd. said U.S. securities regulators completed an informal inquiry into the company and won’t be taking enforcement action.

The Salt Lake City office of the Securities and Exchange Commission opened a probe of Wynn Resorts in February, focusing on a donation by Wynn Macau Ltd. to the University of Macau Development Foundation, the company said in a filing yesterday.

The SEC’s decision marks a step forward for founder Steve Wynn and his company’s court battle against Japanese billionaire Kazuo Okada, formerly the casino operator’s largest shareholder. Okada had publicly questioned the donation. Wynn later seized his former partner’s stock over alleged wrongdoing in the Philippines.

Wynn Resorts, the majority owner of Wynn Macau Ltd., sued Okada last year for breach of fiduciary duty and redeemed his 20 percent stake in the casino operator, alleging he made potentially illegal payments to Philippine government officials that could threaten the company’s gaming licenses. Okada, 70, filed counterclaims to undo the redemption of his shares.

The lawsuit was put on hold in May while U.S. authorities pursue a criminal investigation into possible bribery of Philippine officials by the Japanese billionaire.

Wynn Resorts, based in Las Vegas, fell 0.1 percent to $126.98 at the close in New York. The stock has advanced 13 percent this year through yesterday, compared with a gain of 15 percent for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board in February advised Wynn that it had completed an investigation of Steve Wynn and related companies in Macau and found no violations of the state gambling regulations, the company said in today’s filing.