How Casino Billionaire Steve Wynn Lost $10 Million on Baccarat
In the casino business, it’s a cliche that the house always wins. But at Wynn Resorts Ltd. last quarter, the tables turned.
On Tuesday, casino billionaire Steve Wynn revealed that a junket operator in his Macau casinos -- essentially a subcontractor -- brought in clients whose winnings cost the casino more than $10 million in April, an astonishing swing for a business that can generate profit of as much as $50 million.
“We had probably the most unique statistical anomaly in my 50 years of doing this,” the founder and chief executive officer of Wynn Resorts told analysts on a conference call. “And that is with enormous volume, one of our leading outlets lost money for the entire month.”
The contractor was Suncity Group, one of Macau’s largest junket operators, according to people familiar with the matter. Contacted by Bloomberg, Suncity said it didn’t have any information to disclose about the matter.
The loss occurred at baccarat tables at the Wynn Palace, the new $4.2 billion resort on Macau’s Cotai Strip. In a system prevalent in that market, junket operators bring high rollers to the casinos, front them cash and set them up in private rooms. The casinos pay the operators a commission based on the amount their clients bet, and are on the hook for the gamblers’ winnings.
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