Barry Diller secures unrestricted Nevada gaming license

Barry Diller secures unrestricted Nevada gaming license

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Barry Diller secures unrestricted Nevada gaming license

Barry Diller successfully obtained a full, unrestricted Nevada gaming license today after a 4-1 vote by the Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC).

This is the culmination of a two-year process in which insider trading charges were made against him while he was operating under a restricted license. He was accused of having carried out trading in options contracts for video game publisher ActiveVision Blizzard before Microsoft announced a substantial takeover bid for Activision.

Although Diller does not personally handle the everyday running of casinos within Nevada, it is necessary for him to possess this license due to his company, IAC/InterActiveCorp being the largest shareholder at MGM Resorts International with a stake of 20% in it. In accordance with Nevada legislation, any external party holding more than five percent of publicly listed gaming companies operating within Nevada borders should obtain authorization.

The NGC commissioners were reassured by the findings of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) inquiry into Diller’s actions and expressed their approval in granting him the unrestricted license. In his praise for Diller’s extensive experience Commissioner Brian Krolicki cited his position at Coca-Cola among other notable corporate boards while also pointing out that it has been beneficial for MGM to have him onboard. 

The only person who said no to the above was Commissioner Rosa Solis-Rainey. She raised fears over the possibility that the commission could reopen its probe on insider trading, thereby creating a quandary on whether Diller would still be granted his license by the National Gaming Commission (NGC). Solis-Rainey suggested a potential conditional licensing approach could revisit Diller’s status upon the occurrence of legal issues, although this was not taken by the commission.

Commissioner Abbi Silver and NGC Chair Jennifer Togliatti were among the other commissioners who backed Diller’s unrestricted license. They valued Diller’s openness throughout his speech and his pledge to use IAC as a long-term, non-controversial investment vehicle for MGM. This opinion emphasizes how comfortable the NGC is with IAC’s large investment in MGM, which suits the company’s strategy and improves its financial standing.

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