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Wynn Macau Exec Took Bribes for Contracts, Alleges Contractor

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Wynn Macau, the Asian gaming arm of Wynn Resorts, is working to repair its reputation due to the actions of one of its former executives. The individual allegedly accepted bribes from a Hong Kong-based last year in order to sign off on contracts, pocketing the money off the books.

Greasing the Palms

In May of last year, the Hong Kong Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) made public a scandal where an employee and previous director of an air conditioning company faced allegations of providing bribes amounting to roughly HKD1.5 million (US$191,594) to a former Wynn manager. These bribes were intended to secure a lucrative contract for air conditioning repairs at the Wynn Macau hotel, worth around HKD22 million (US$2.8 million).

Related: Macau Gaming-Related Crime on the Rise

During the court proceedings that concluded this month, ICAC disclosed a fresh update which unveiled Li Kin-wang, the 59-year-old chief marketing officer at Oh Luen Air Conditioning Equipment Limited (Oh Luen), as one of the two individuals involved. Li pleaded guilty to a total of five charges, which encompassed bribery, among others, marking a significant turn of events.

Li has been charged with three allegations of offering benefits to an agent, along with two allegations of conspiring to provide benefits to an agent. The judge has postponed the proceedings until September 18 to allow for Li's admission and voluntary surrender.

The ICAC has confirmed that Oh Luen operates in both Macau and Hong Kong. Its primary focus is on delivering air conditioning installation and maintenance services to customers. Furthermore, along with another company, Wai Luen Air-conditioning Limited, Oh Luen has served as a supplier for Wynn Resorts (Macau) S.A., starting in 2013. Oh Luen and Wai Luen share the same owner.

No Charges against Wynn

Li confessed that as early as 2014, he commenced making timely payments to an unidentified executive on Wynn's management team as they had requested. This opened up a chance for Oh Luen to present a quote or proposal to Wynn concerning the maintenance of its air systems.

Between June 2014 and July 2015, as well as between November 2016 and January 2017, Li confessed to offering illicit payments to the senior employee. The amount surpassed HKD450,000 ($57,477), and was transacted through checks or bank transfers. Additionally, a former manager of Wai Luen conspired in this scheme, contributing two bribes worth HKD560,000 (US$71,527) paid to the director.

From 2014 to 2017, Oh Luen was granted multiple air conditioning contracts by Wynn, as disclosed in an inquiry carried out by Hong Kong ICAC. These contracts collectively amounted to approximately HKD34 million (US$4.34 million).

On the opposing side, Wai Luen, the director, firmly denied any wrongdoing when faced with two charges of collaborating to grant an advantage to an agent. His trial commenced in a district court in September.

The Hong Kong authorities revealed that both the Macau Commission Against Corruption and Wynn offered complete cooperation to the ICAC during the inquiry into the issue. Wynn has not been charged and the former executive is not currently under investigation.

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