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Hannah Dreier, reporter, Associated Press

BY MARIE ANDRUSEWICZ -- The Securities and Exchange Commission has determined that Steve Wynn is off the hook for a donation he made to a university in Macau.

A disgruntled former board member had flagged Wynn’s donation as suspicious, since a person who sat on the board of the university also was part of a commission charged with giving out casino licenses.

Also “it was an unusually large gift,” says Associated Press reporter Hannah Dreier. “$135 million dollars, while not much for a casino operator, is relatively large as far as a donation.”

Wynn says he was never concerned about the investigation. What bothered him, according to Dreier, were “the damn newspapers” covering the story.

“They’re more worried about the perception and the reputation issues than the actual investigation itself.”

In other Macau news, Sands is under investigation as a result of a charges made by a former employee, “alleging all sorts of bad things including turning a blind eye to prostitution, hiring a lawmaker to settle different problems that the company had, extortion, (and) doing business with triad members, Chinese gangs,” says Dreier. Sands denies these charges, but does admit to violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices bookkeeping standards.

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Finally, MGM is denying allegations of a connection with Pansy Ho, who is associated with Chinese triads.

“It’s interesting that three U.S. companies doing business in Macau, all of them have run into some kind of legal or regulatory trouble,” says Dreier.

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