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Billionaire media mogul officially receives Nevada gaming license

The Nevada Gaming Commission on Thursday approved the licensing of media mogul Barry Diller as a director for the MGM Resorts International board of directors.

In a 4-1 vote — the first for new member Abbi Silver — commissioners agreed to license Diller without restrictions after approving a limited two-year license for him in May 2022.

Two years ago, Diller was recommended for approval by the Nevada Gaming Control Board, but between the time of the Control Board recommendation and final commission approval, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced an investigation into insider trading allegations against Diller, his stepson-in-law Alexander von Furstenberg and film studio executive and producer David Geffen.

Diller, appearing at Thursday’s meeting online from New York, said the timing of the purchase of stock in videogame company Activision Blizzard, which later was taken over by Microsoft Corp., was coincidental. He said he, von Furstenberg and Geffen considered Activision to be an undervalued company worthy of their investment.

Diller and his attorneys told the commission there has been no further contact from the SEC and the U.S. Justice Department about an investigation into the stock trades.

“This matter has reached the end of the map,” one of Diller’s attorneys told commissioners.

Commissioner Rosa Solis-Rainey cast the one vote against Diller’s licensing and she said during the 15-minute hearing that while she had no misgivings about Diller’s character and suitability, she preferred a conditional licensing since the SEC left the possibility of a future investigation open.

The SEC’s email to Diller’s lawyer that Diller authorized be made public says, “must in no way be construed as indicating that the party has been exonerated or that no action may ultimately result from the staff’s investigation.”

Diller is the chairman and senior executive of IAC, a holding company that owns brands across 100 countries, mostly in media and internet, and chairman and senior executive of Expedia Group. He is a former chairman and chief executive officer of several companies, including Fox and Paramount Pictures Corp. Diller also serves on the board of The Coca-Cola Company.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on X.

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