Sands China probed, again; Eiffel Tower in Macau; Wynn Macau sees new investment; MGM China catering for more VIPs

sands china logoUS investigators are probing a number of deals made by Sands China. The Wall Street Journal reports the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Justice Department and their own audit committee, is investigating several agreements. They are looking at whether anti-bribery laws were broken. The three transactions involved are unrelated to the company’s casino business and instead involve outside interests.

A $50 million payment for real estate at the Adelson Centre, a contract for a ferry service from Macau to Hong Kong and the sponsorship of a Chinese basketball team are the three under scrutiny. The WSJ report quotes a source that states books and records kept by Sands are “not sufficient” whilst at the same time there’s so far “insufficient evidence to conclude that there were corrupt payments to PRC [People’s Republic of China] officials”. Sheldon Adelson and other top executives are not thought to be involved and it comes after a separate investigation was already set up to investigate allegations of prostitution at the company’s casinos.

Sands China is considering bringing a large chunk of Paris to Macau as part of their next Cotai project. Business Daily reports that parcel three will feature a 225-metre high replica of the Eiffel Tower as its centrepiece. It’s slightly shorter then the Parisian version that stands at 324m high. It will include an observation deck close to the top and apart from the height, it will be exactly the same.

Wynn Macau has seen US-based Capital Research & Management Co boost its stake in the firm to 5.02 percent (originally 4.99 percent). The investment firm bought 1.14 million shares at HK$17.131 apiece according to Bloomberg.

MGM China has invested a considerable sum in a new VIP area as they look to protect their share of the sector. Macau Post Daily report that US$50 million is being invested in the new wing where 40 VIP table games will take place in the room, with capacity taken from existing table inventory. It will open towards the end of the next month.