Wynn-Based Macau Junket Says Staff May Have Stolen $13 Million

  • Dore Entertainment takes out advertisement in newspaper
  • Theft has caused `irreparable damage' to Dore's image, ad says

A Macau junket company operating at a Wynn Resorts Ltd. casino said one of its employees is suspected of stealing HK$100 million ($13 million) from Dore.

Some Dore Entertainment customers may also have been cheated by a former cage manager, or chip cashier, the company said in a statement published in the Macao Daily newspaper on Sept. 17. Macau police are investigating the case, Dore’s statement said.

“The incident has caused irreparable damage to our company’s image,” Dore said. “We are also a victim and hope we can be treated rationally.”

Dore’s business is operating normally and the company has solid finances, according to the statement. Hong Kong’s Oriental Daily newspaper reported about 30 people who had deposited money with Dore marched to Wynn property a week ago demanding their money back.

Wynn Resorts spokesman Michael Weaver reiterated Friday that Dore doesn’t owe the company any money. An employee answering the phone at Dore confirmed the company placed the statement in the newspaper and declined to comment further.

The incident comes after Macau’s casino revenues fell for 15 straight months as China’s anti-corruption crackdown and a slowing economy kept high rollers at bay. So-called junket operators, the middlemen who provide betting credit to the high-end players, have been closing their exclusive gambling rooms amid the downturn.

Blank Checks

A junket and 30 other people have filed police complaints saying they were cheated out of funds, Macau’s judiciary police said Wednesday when asked about the theft. The sum amounted to HK$330 million ($43 million) excluding the portion from the junket, it said. Investigations include the use of blank checks and possible breach of trust, the police added, without naming the junket or casino involved.

Police declined to comment Friday and the person named in the newspaper statement couldn’t be reached to comment.

News of Dore’s loss prompted a drop in Wynn Resorts shares last week, as analysts and investors speculated the incident may reduce the amount of money Dore and other junket operators have to lend to their customers. The shares closed 4.8 percent lower at $70.27 in New York Thursday. Wynn Macau gained 1.8 percent to HK$11.08 as of 3:34 p.m. in Hong Kong Friday.