Nevada’s top gambling regulator on Thursday delayed MGM Resorts MGM -0.55%
Barry Diller’s international stakeholder license after federal authorities launched insider-trading investigations into his purchase of shares in Activision Blizzard Inc.
Nevada Gaming Commission Chairman Jennifer Togliatti in a public meeting ordered that Mr Diller’s application to join the casino industry be “examined and further investigated by the state Gaming Control Board”. Board officers investigate the backgrounds of executives and major shareholders who must be licensed to operate in the state’s gambling industry. Regulatory agencies determine a candidate’s “suitability” for licensing and their regulations aim to prevent corruption or criminal activity in the industry.
In 2020, Mr. Diller and his Internet-owning company, IAC/InterActiveCorp.
said it spent more than $1 billion on a 12% stake in MGM Resorts,
In pursuit of the burgeoning online gambling industry in the United States, IAC’s stake in the Las Vegas-based casino operator has grown to about 14%.
Mr. Diller did not directly respond to a request for comment. In a statement, the IAC said the matter was “simply delayed”. “We hope there will be no issues regarding Mr. Diller’s application as well as that of the IAC,” the company said.
MGM Resorts did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
During a hearing on March 2, the Game Control Board recommended that the Gaming Commission approve the licensing of Mr. Diller, IAC as a company, and Chief Executive Officer, Joey Levin. Mr. Diller and Mr. Levin are board members of MGM Resorts.
The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that federal prosecutors and the securities regulator were investigating large bets Diller made — along with Alexander von Furstenberg and David Geffen — against shareholders. votes from Activision Blizzard Inc., days before the video game maker agreed to be acquired by Microsoft Corp.
on January 18.
Earlier this month, Mr. Diller said that none of the men had material non-public information about the Microsoft-Activision deal, saying, “it was simply a bet of luck.” He said von Furstenberg had “purchased shares of Activision before, and I think at some point Activision will either go private or be acquired at some point,” Diller said. .
Neither Mr. von Furstenberg, Diller’s stepson, nor Mr. Geffen responded to requests for comment.
Shares of IAC were up about 3% in late Thursday trading. Shares of MGM Resorts fell half a percent.
IAC’s digital holdings include brands like Care.com, The Daily Beast and Vivian Health. The company said it plans to use its expertise to help MGM Resorts grow into online gambling, which some executives and industry analysts say could be a valuable market. 40 billion dollars in the US.
Ms Togliatti said applications would be delayed until the committee meeting in April.
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Appeared on March 18, 2022, print edition as ‘Barry Diller’s Nevada Gambling License Delayed.’
https://www.wsj.com/articles/mgm-resorts-stakeholder-barry-dillers-gambling-license-is-delayed-by-regulator-11647555581?mod=pls_whats_news_us_business_f Barry Diller’s Gambling License Delayed By Regulator Due To Transaction Investigation