MGM sued over data breach

by Charlotte Lee Last Updated
MGM sued over data breach

US casino operator MGM Resorts International has been sued over a data breach last year, which the company confirmed earlier this week and which reportedly involved details of more than 10.6 million hotel guests.

CRN reports that the lawsuit, filed by Morgan & Morgan, whose lawyer John Yanchunis has also represented some Yahoo users in a breach of 3 billion accounts between 2013 and 2016.

MGM Resorts said on Thursday that last summer it “discovered unauthorised access to a cloud server that contained a limited amount of information for certain previous guests.”

The majority of information exposed related to the names of guests and their phone numbers, a company spokesman had said, without confirming the exact number of guests affected.

Technology website ZDNet reported that the personal details of more than 10.6 million guests who stayed at MGM Resorts hotels were published on a hacking forum this week.

The details in the leaked files reportedly included information on celebrities, chief executives of technology companies, reporters and government officials.

Morgan & Morgan filed its lawsuit last Friday as a “complaint of damages” and “injunctive relief”, according to the filing at the US District Court for the District of Nevada.

Yanchunis has previously been associated with several other data breach lawsuits, including against credit reporting agency Equifax over its 2017 breach of nearly 150 million Americans and against Facebook and political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica for obtaining information belonging to millions of Facebook users without permission.

MGM performs below expectations

Casino operator MGM Resorts performed below expectations in the final quarter of 2019 and is warning that the coronavirus is already doing a number on its current quarter operations. 

Calvin Ayre reported earlier this month that its revenue hit $3.2 billion in the final three months of 2019, up four per cent from the fourth quarter of 2018.

Operating income came in at $3 billion, a nearly tenfold rise over the fourth quarter of last year, which netted $336 million, although $2.7 billion of this most recent quarter’s total came from the recent Bellagio real estate deal.

MGM’s quarterly profit was similarly goosed to $2 billion compared with a $23 million net loss in quarter four of 2018.

MGM’s mainstay Las Vegas Strip casinos reported revenue rising four per cent year-on-year to $1.4 billion despite table game turnover falling 14 per cent and table win dipping nearly one point to 21.1 per cent.

Slots turnover also rose two per cent and slots win was unchanged, while room revenue improved five per cent.

MGM’s regional US operations revenue was up 15 per cent to $900 million, although all of the gains came via recent casino acquisitions in New York and Ohio, which helped boost slots revenue by 14 per cent.

In Macau, MGM’s share of the MGM China joint venture revenue was up six per cent to $727 million entirely on the strength of its mass market table games, which saw win shoot up 31 per cent thanks to 25 new tables and a significant rise in mass win rate.

VIP turnover was down one-third at MGM Macau, pushing overall VIP win down by one-fifth.

CEO Murren to step down before contract expiry

For 2019 as a whole, MGM’s revenue gained 10 per cent to $12.9 billion, while adjusted earnings rose six per cent to $3 billion and profit quadrupled to $2 billion again, largely on the strength of its Bellagio deal cash.

Investors were shocked by Wednesday’s announcement that chairman Jim Murren would be stepping down “prior to the expiration of his contract.”

The company offered no reason for the early exit and Murren played coy on Wednesday’s earnings call, although he suggested he may continue to play a role in the company’s Japanese ambitions.

Asked whether his exit would impact MGM’s pursuit of a Japanese integrated resort licence, Murren said he would accompany other MGM execs to Osaka in May to pitch the locals on why MGM is their best casino bet.

Murren added that “I’m absolutely sure I’m going to be involved in the Japan project. In fact, I’ll probably be even more involved in the Japan project as time goes by.”

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