Wynn Macau Limited is warning of an increase in “fraudulent online gambling and investment websites” using the ‘Wynn’ name, as well as names of other legitimate businesses and governmental authorities.
In its interim report, the Hong Kong-listed casino operator said these websites often prominently display logos and trademarks of known entities. “We do not offer online gambling or investment accounts. Websites offering these or similar activities and opportunities that use our names, such as ‘Wynn Resorts (Macau) S.A.’, ‘Wynn’-related trademarks, including our marks for ‘Wynn Macau’ and ‘Wynn Palace’, or similar names or images in likeness to ours, are doing so without our authorization and possibly unlawfully and with criminal intent,” it said.
In the company’s view, its intellectual property assets, “especially the logo version of ‘WYNN,’ are among our most valuable assets.” It is actively reporting such websites and pursuing legal remedies, but also said litigation for this “may be costly and may not be successful in protecting and preserving the status and value of our intellectual property assets.” Wynn Macau operates both the Wynn Macau and Wynn Palace hotel-casinos.
Just last month, in China’s Jiangsu province, police reportedly arrested 56 suspects connected to a ‘transnational’ internet gambling ring whose business amounted to about $1.1 billion. In a separate bust in the same province, police arrested 63 people suspected of involvement in the operation of five gambling sites that were using trademarks of SJM Holdings’ New Lisboa Casino and Sands China’s Venetian.
Wynn Macau, in its interim report, posted revenue of HKD19.2 billion ($2.4 billion) for the first half of 2018, 20.9% higher than last year’s first-half revenue. Of this, HKD16.5 billion ($2.1 billion) came from casino operations. The company attributed the higher revenues to “an increase from Wynn Palace driven by higher gaming volumes together with higher table games win percentage for both VIP and mass market segments.”
Adjusted EBITDA was HKD5.3 billion ($675 million), 36.9% higher than the corresponding period in 2017. Net profit for the period was HKD3 billion ($387 million), 90% higher than last year’s first-half net profit.