The Work

March 4, 2012 6:19 PM

Skadden Accepts Responsibility for Errant Wynn Resorts SEC Filing

Posted by Brian Baxter

U.S. billionaire and casino mogul Steve Wynn has made a lot of headlines lately, most notably for his high-profile feud with Kazuo Okada, a former friend and Wynn Resorts board member.

And on Friday, Wynn was in the news again after his company's lawyers from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom took the blame for an accidental SEC filing that disclosed details about a planned lease for a new resort in the offshore Asian gambling hub of Macau, a special administrative region of China.

"We learned earlier today that a clerk in our filing department inadvertently made an unauthorized filing with respect to Wynn Resorts Ltd.," Skadden said in a statement. "We have taken steps to rectify the situation as quickly as possible and are reviewing what occurred to ensure that it cannot happen in the future."

Wynn Resorts immediately took steps to retract the impromptu statement to regulators that appeared to show that the company was close to striking a deal with authorities in Macau for a 25-year land concession contract on the Cotai Strip district.

Macau, a former Portuguese colony that serves as the largest gambling destination in the world, has been a key center of investment for the U.S. gaming industry since the economic downturn began three years ago, hurting bottom lines from Atlantic City to Las Vegas.

The errant 8-K filing made by Las Vegas–based Wynn Resorts on Friday—click here, here, and here for SEC filings from that day—helped send shares in the company up more than 5 percent before trading was halted, according to MarketWatch.

Wynn, who has been embroiled in an escalating legal battle with Okada, currently owns two casinos in Macau. The opening of the Wynn Macau in 2006 was the first in the region by a Las Vegas–style casino. Skadden represented Wynn Macau on its landmark initial public offering in Hong Kong three years ago.

Kim Sinatra, no relation to Old Blue Eyes, but the second-highest-paid female executive in Las Vegas last year, serves as general counsel for Wynn Resorts.

The company has received legal counsel from Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, Glaser, Weil, Fink, Jacobs, Howard, Avchen & Shapiro, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, and Las Vegas shops Pisanelli Bice and Gordon Silver on its dispute with Okada, which grew nastier with a lawsuit filed in late February, according to news reports.

Wynn's suit against Okada, a Japanese billionaire whom he partnered with a decade ago because of the latter's Asian gaming expertise, accuses him of misappropriating trade secrets and making false claims. Okada is being advised by attorneys from Lionel Sawyer & Collins in Las Vegas and Alston & Bird in Menlo Park, California.


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