he New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement also recommended that the company be "directed to disengage itself from any business association" with Pansy Ho, who owns 50 % of the us$ 1.25 billion MGM Grand Macau. The report was revealed in a filing by MGM to the US stock exchange late Tuesday. The regulator did not give any reason for its findings in the filing.
Pansy Ho said in a statement she was aware of the regulator's report to the New Jersey Casino Control Commission, which has the power to issue and revoke gaming licences in the state. She said: "I and my advisers will need time to read and consider the contents of the report and decide how best to respond to it in due course."
MGM Mirage's partnership with Pansy Ho has been approved by regulators in four other US states - Nevada, Illinois, Michigan and Mississippi - where the company operates casinos, reports said.
The Financial Times said the regulator's finding could jeopardise MGM Mirage's licence for its casino in Atlantic City, but the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong quoted MGM as saying the recommendation was "not binding."
New Jersey formally launched its investigation into Pansy Ho's partnership with MGM Mirage in late 2005. "Stanley Ho is a wealthy Chinese businessman who has been the subject of numerous public allegations suggesting that he has ties to Asian organised crime," the New Jersey attorney general's office said in its 2005 annual report, according to the Post.
The regulator's "investigation focuses on the relationship of Pansy Ho and her father," the newspaper reported. Pansy Ho is the eldest child by her father's third wife and, is one of the principal heirs to his business empire.
Stanley Ho had enjoyed a monopoly over Macau's gaming market for four decades until the government began issuing licences to overseas casino operators in 2002. He has never been accused of any wrongdoing in Macau or Hong Kong, where his corporate flagships are listed.
The 600-room MGM Grand Macau was opened in the former Portuguese enclave in 2007, but has since struggled amid fierce competition and a recent decline in the number of mainland Chinese tourists following a visa curb by Beijing.