Tuesday saw Round #37 of the heavyweight tilt between Universal Entertainment’s Kazuo Okada and Wynn Resorts’ Steve Wynn. At issue was Okada’s legal right to challenge Wynn’s forcible redemption (at a 30% discount) of Okada’s fat stack of Wynn stock in February. Clark County District Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez tossed Okada’s attempt to pin a RICO tag on Wynn, saying the transaction was a “contractual agreement between shareholders in a highly regulated industry,” and thus did not meet Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act standards. However, Gonzalez upheld Okada’s right to make essentially the same argument via 17 other non-RICO claims. A trial has been scheduled for April 2014.
Shifting to New Jersey’s legal tiff with the major professional and college sports leagues over the Garden State’s single-game sports betting plans, the court handling the case has awarded an early point to the Jersey shore. Last month, the state won the right to depose senior officials from each league as to their internal communications regarding the effect (if any) of sports betting on the alleged ‘integrity’ of their games. Major League Baseball sent over general counsel Thomas Ostertag – who testified last month against Canada’s sports betting plans – to be grilled by Jersey’s attorneys, but NorthJersey.com’s John Brennan reported the experience left New Jersey feeling that the integrity of the deposition had been compromised.
Apparently, Ostertag’s number one response to questions regarding game integrity was a variation on ‘you’d have to ask Daniel Mullin’. Mullin heads MLB’s Department of Investigations, and the Jersey guys quickly decided he was the guy they should have been deposing. But MLB replied, hey, we gave you the ‘Tag, now quit fishing. So the Jersey guys went back to court, and said, hey, Ostertag admitted to us that he’d only read a couple documents about integrity on the morning of the deposition. (Ostertag’s Canadian testimony amounted to a by-the-numbers recitation of tired talking points.) Magistrate Judge Lois Goodman agreed with Jersey, saying it wasn’t clear MLB had “met its burden” and told MLB to make with the Mullin by Nov. 21. The litigants are scheduled to square off in court on Dec. 21.
Sadly for those with a love of the bizarre, Harold ‘genocide is bad’ Kupersmit’s petition for ‘friend of the court’ status in the suit was turned down on the basis that Kupersmit was a nutter with whom nobody wanted to be friends.