Wynn Goes Big in UAE, Plans to Sell Its Online Betting Business

There are some big news coming from Wynn Resorts. First, the Vegas-based gaming giant appointed a new CEO Craig Billings, the man whose one of first moves was to expand the business to the Arabian Peninsula. As confirmed by the company, Wynn Resorts is planning to construct a new integrated resort in United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The location is Al Marjan Island, an artificial island in the Ras Al Khaimah region, some 45 minutes away from Dubai International Airport. The cost of the development of the UAE integrated resort is counted in billions of dollars, as the complex is expected to feature a luxury 5-star hotel with 1,000+ rooms, as well as a large shopping mall, numerous restaurants and other venues.

There is one aspect of integrated resorts that the UAE project might miss – the gaming area. Even though the project includes a casino, it’s still not clear whether the UAE Government is going to allow it. The thing is that the official religion of the country, Islam, prohibits any form of gambling.

Wynn Resorts to Offload Its Online Betting Business?

Wynn Resorts might be forced to give up on the gaming aspect of its UAE project, but that might not be the end. As reported by the New York Times, the company is looking to sell its sports betting product.

Although it hasn’t been confirmed by the Wynn spokespersons, the company is reportedly willing to sell it at a big discount. Wynn’s mobile betting app is valued at as much as $3 billion but the company would accept a much lower price. The number that’s rumored is $500 million.

At this stage, everything is still pretty much a speculation, although there are some signs that Wynn might actually do it. The biggest of all is the fact that WynnBet still hasn’t launched in New York State. Even though the sportsbook was one of the nine operators that were given the license by the state officials, the app still hasn’t gone live.

The reason behind this might be that Wynn doesn’t see big profits from its NY betting app. Considering that the tax is set to 51% in New York, their estimates might be correct. On top of that, WynnBet’s main competitors – Caesars, FanDuel, and DraftKings are going full throttle in the Empire State.

These sportsbooks are giving away some pretty lucrative bonuses to New Yorkers, while they’re also being very aggressive with their advertising tactics. If WynnBet wanted to join the race, the company would need to invest tens or even hundreds of millions in attracting new customers.

According to a gambling analyst from Jefferies, David Katz, the advertising/promo cost of acquiring a single online sportsbook customer in New York is between $300 and $500.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

Wynn Resorts Stocks Now Up for Sale at $118

Last year was “annus horribilis” for practically everyone involved with the casino business. However, some have managed to rebound in the last couple of months of 2020. One of those companies is Wynn Resorts, which closed out the last year on a relatively high note – they reported a positive adjusted property EBITDA of about $39.4 million.

The casino operator now wants to cash in on the euphoria, for which, Wynn Resorts decided to put a portion of its stocks up for public sale.  About 6.32 million Wynn Resorts stocks have been made available for purchase, which is expected to raise as much as $5.5 million.

The money collected through the sale of Wynn Resorts stocks is going to be used for “general corporate purposes.”

Wynn Stocks Traded at ~$118 on Robinhood

The timing is great for Wynn to sell its stocks. At the same time, it also seems that it’s still a good time for investors to start buying them. At the moment of writing, the price of one Wynn Resorts stock on Robinhood.com is $118.

Wynn stocks at Robinhood
Screenshot: Robinhood

The lowest price of Wynn Resorts stocks was recorded in late January. On Friday, January 29, the price for one stock was $99.53. Since then, the price has been constantly going up.

Last week, we saw the price for one stock going above $116, while this week, it went over $117 before reaching the current price on early Saturday morning.

The reason why buying Wynn Resorts stocks at $118 seems like a good business move is that the price is still way below $136.82, which was its price before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last spring.

Wynn Stock Improvement Led by Macau Rebound

Things still aren’t in order in Las Vegas, with COVID-19 still causing troubles for the casino industry. Good days seem to be ahead as, from February 15, Nevada will ease its COVID-19 measures. As a result, casinos will be allowed to increase their capacity from 25 to 35%. Not a very big improvement but knowing that the vaccination is ongoing, the end of the crisis seems to be on the horizon.

What this means for Wynn Resorts is that their two properties on the Strip (Wynn Las Vegas and Encore) are expected to return to their full glory within a couple of months. Once that happens, millions of dollars will start pouring in the company piggy-bank, which is bound to make its stocks go up.

Until that happens, the main driving force behind Wynn Resorts will continue to be the operation in Macau. Wynn’s CEO Matt Maddox was full of praise for the company’s property in Macau, calling it “the sweet spot of our company.”

In addition, the company has big plans for its online sports betting brand WynnBET. According to Maddox, the internet operation saw its “revenues growing almost 50 percent over the last three months.” WynnBET was recently made an official sponsor of the Memphis Grizzlies in an effort to make the brand a household name among American sports fans.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

Wynn Successful Sues Fund Manager over Owed Money

  • Wynn Macau successfully wins case for $4.3 million in Malaysia
  • The guilty party will have to pay out the owed money, plus interest
  • Meanwhile Wynn and Genting are getting closer to a court battle due to begin on January 29

Wynn Macau Ltd. has successfully concluded a court case against a fund manager who owed the company money. The guilty party had been paid in the form of a credit, which Wynn has now successfully recuperated in court.

Wynn Settles Legal Challenge in Malaysia

In a rare turn of events, Wynn Macau Ltd. managed to win a court case against an individual, identified as Paul Poh Yang Hong, who owed the company money in the form of a line of credit. Based on the active legislation in the country, gambling contracts are not legally binding, and this is precisely what made the case interesting.

However, Wynn specified that it wasn’t looking to collect gaming proceedings, but rather – honor a credit agreement, which proved to be the winning argument in court. The sum of the contract was substantial with the individual previously requesting HKD40 million credit from Wynn, which was granted.

Since then, the fund manager had still to honor HKD33 million in due payments, prompting Wynn Macau Ltd to launch a lawsuit in 2017. The news was also reported by Reuters, which fleshed out details of the case.

Judge S. Nantha Balan from the Kuala Lumpur court has ruled that Poh will have to pay the outstanding amount to Wynn Macau, plus interest.

The decision is not final as Poh can still appeal, although Wynn’s attorney Vincent Law believes that the case constituted an important victory for the gaming industry.

Malaysia and Wynn, Tied into a Legal Pickle

Interestingly enough Wynn’s U.S. subsidiary, Wynn Resorts Ltd. is tied up with Malaysia in another way. Last year, Wynn filed a complaint against Malaysia-based Genting Berhad over a property built at the northern end of the Las Vegas Strip.

Genting Denies Wynn Copyright Claims, Prepares for Court

According to the complaint, Genting was intentionally copying Wynn and Encore Towers’ design in a bid to syphon off customers from its own property. Genting has since dismissed the statement, issuing their official statement at the end of 2018.

Moving into 2019, none of the parties has seemed prepared to relent. Genting’s World Resorts Las Vegas is estimated at $4 billion, making a hiatus or cacellation of construction work not an option.

Meanwhile, Wynn continues to maintain that the claims made in its unlawful competition lawsuit dated December 21 very much apply. However, Genting has since said that the allegations were “baseless”.

Here’s what Genting SVP PR and Development Michael Levoff had to say, cited by Review Journal:

Genting (Resorts World’s parent company) remains confident that once all of the relevant facts are presented the company will defeat Wynn’s baseless claims.

The two parties are expected to meet in court in Nevada on January 29. In so many ways, Wynn continues to be legally bound to Malaysia, and not always in a good way.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.