MGM Mirage

(MGM) - Get Report

on Wednesday defended its Macau resort partner, saying it would challenge findings by a New Jersey panel that she was "unsuitable."

MGM Mirage revealed last month that New Jersey's Division of Gaming Enforcement recommended MGM cut ties with Ho because of her father Stanley Ho's alleged links to organized crime.

Ho and MGM jointly own the MGM Grand Macau casino resort.

"We disagree with their recommendation," Lloyd Nathan, MGM Mirage's president for global gaming development, said while at a gambling conference in Macau. "Pansy Ho has been and is a great partner in Macau."

Pansy Ho said any response to the report would be left to MGM.

A final ruling against MGM could force it to choose between quitting the Macau market or its investment in Atlantic City, N.J., where it owns half (along with

Boyd Gaming

(BYD) - Get Report

) of the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, the city's most lucrative casino.

At the same conference, Stanley Ho seemed to allude to speculation about him.

"The fact that

SJM

his company, Sociedade de Jogos de Macau Holdings is listed on a major stock market has provided a new level of transparency of gaming in Macau and helped to clear up the misconceptions about the industry that some people had in the past," he said.

MGM shares were trading down 5.6% to $7.48 early Wednesday afternoon.

Elsewhere among casino companies,

Pinnacle Entertainment

(PNK) - Get Report

soared 12.7% to $12.51 a day after the Louisiana Legislature rejected a smoking ban in bars and casinos.

Dennis Forst of KeyBanc Capital Markets upgraded

Wynn Entertainment

(WYNN) - Get Report

from underweight to hold, noting the price has dropped about 24% since he raised the target to $38 from $13 in early May. Wynn shares were down 3% to $39.38 after closing at $40.60 on Tuesday.

"This downward movement in share price has reached our price target, and the current valuation on Wynn's shares appears fair to us," the analyst wrote in a note to clients.

Las Vegas Sands

(LVS) - Get Report

was down 6.7% to $9.71.

Boyd Gaming

(BYD) - Get Report

was down 4.5% to $10.03.

Penn National Gaming

(PENN) - Get Report

was down 1.7% to $31.72.

Ameristar Casinos

(ASCA)

was down 6% to $21.48.

Isle of Capri Casinos

(ISLE)

was down 0.8% to $13.18.

Melco Crown Entertainment

(MPEL)

was down 6.2% to $5.56.