Nevada Gaming Commission Gives MGM Stakeholder a Limited License

The Nevada Gaming Commission, the regulator of Nevada’s thriving gambling market, has given a limited license to billionaire Barry Diller for his MGM Resorts International ownership stake. The IAC director owns 14% of the MGM shares and is currently under inside trading investigation by the Justice Department and SEC.

“That’s Not Fair,” Diller Shouted While Hearing the Ruling

Commissioner Ogonna Brown was the only member that objected as she stated that there wasn’t any need to strike Diller with limitations. The Nevada Gaming Commission voted whether Diller should be given a limitation over a full-blown licensing. The vote ended with 4 votes for a limitation and 1 against.

Diller shouted “that’s not fair” while hearing the ruling and he told the commission that this is very bad timing and that he is not guilty of the charges that are being thrown at him.

The two-hour hearing ended with the decision that Diller will have a conditional license that will last for 2 years. The main reason why the commission did not give Diller full licensing is that he’s currently under federal investigation.

Originally, Diller was supposed to be provided with full licensing. The Commission suggested that back in March, but that’s when the Wall Street Journal published a piece in which it shed light on a suspicious share purchase that he was included in.

Commissioner Rosa Solis-Rainey made the motion for the limited license and stated that even though the whole situation may be a coincidence, as Diller says, this is something that the commission cannot ignore. Solis-Rainey stated that “a gaming license is a privilege,” and even though there’s no hard evidence against Diller, the commission cannot turn a blind eye to the suspicious activity. 

Diller Purchased Stock in Activision Blizzard Shortly Before the Company Was Taken Over by Microsoft

SEC launched an investigation into Diller, Alexander von Furstenberg (Diller’s stepson-in-law), and David Geffen (movie executive and producer) over a suspicious stock share purchase. They purchased shares in Activision Blizzard the Friday before the Martin Luther King three-day weekend.

Shortly after the stock was purchased, Activision Blizzard was acquired by Microsoft and thus, the company’s share immediately rose. Diller’s argument is that his investment is coincidental and that the knew nothing of the purchase.

After the news of him being under federal investigation became public, the Nevada Gaming Commission decided to give him a two-year limited license. That means that Diller will continue to work as MGM’s director, but he will have to return for reconsideration after the two years have passed.

Diller self-reported the allegations against him and the commission stated that if he stumbles across new information, he can report for a hearing before the two-year deadline passes. The Activision Blizzard shares were purchased at a price of $40 per share and after the company was purchased by Microsoft, their price rose to $63.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.