Macau (MNA) – Steve Wynn is arriving in the Macau SAR. The visit is seen as a regular one but the company prefers not to comment. “We do not discuss the travel plans of our executives,” a spokesperson told Macau News Agency (MNA). Could be the end of the story. But not quite. An unexplained detail emerged in the casino tycoon’s travel plans that MNA found out: his private plane touched down first in Beijing.
Without further information, speculation is rampant. Steve Wynn, like other gaming operators, is anxious to know what the MSAR Government’s decision is regarding the renewal of the existing six licences.
According to the gaming law, a new international tender should be conducted, unless the Legislative Assembly – the city’s parliament – decides to amend the law. More than 60 per cent of net revenues at Mr. Wynn’s company are generated by the MSAR. Other gaming operators depend heavily upon the city’s gaming results as well. But this is not the speculation part but fact.
The speculation builds up with the touchdown of Steve Wynn’s private plane in Beijing under a heavy cloak of silence following the much-exposed Guo Wengui story published by the Wall Street Journal.
The long article, that had international impact, explained in detail the story of Guo Wengui, a Chinese billionaire who fled to the United States in 2014 and is there awaiting asylum.
The newspaper claims that Steve Wynn, the Republican National Committee finance chairman, hand-delivered a letter to President Donald Trump written by the Chinese Government, who wants Guo deported. Wynn Resorts denied the story to WSJ. Other media, like CNBC, have not succeeded in getting any comments from the White House either.
Guo has been a vocal critic of alleged government corruption in China, and is seeking asylum in the United States as Chinese authorities investigate him for crimes such as bribery and rape. The businessman, once on the list of the 100 most rich Chinese, is a member of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida.
WSJ also said the American President wanted to deport Guo, allegedly influenced by the letter. But since the story broke no other news has followed, at a time when Donald Trump maintains a love-hate affair with many allies and others not so allied, like China, as tensions continue to mount as a consequence of the missile crisis in North Korea and trade related divergences.
Meanwhile, from his fancy hotel facing Central Park in New York Guo continues to be a thorn in Beijing’s side. One day tweeting and showing photos of meetings with Chinese officials or especially giving, last month, an exclusive interview to Agence France Press (AFP) saying “I want to try to have rule of law, I want to try to have democracy, freedom; that’s my ultimate goal… A change of the regime.”
The U.S. Justice Department said last month that it will not extradite the billionaire, whom some media stated had close ties to the Chinese intelligence community.
So, why is Steve Wynn in Beijing? And why not say a word if that stopover can only fuel speculation? Questions to ask when and if Mr. Wynn concedes to have an interview with MNA.