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A federal judge on Wednesday dismissed a Justice Department lawsuit that sought to force longtime casino developer Steve Wynn to register as a foreign agent because of lobbying work it said he conducted at the behest of the Chinese government during the Trump administration.

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg did not address in his 20-page order whether Wynn was functioning as a Beijing agent. Instead, he said he agreed with Wynn’s lawyers that the department could not compel him now to register as a foreign agent because any relationship Wynn had with the Chinese government ended in 2017.

The order is a setback for stepped-up Justice Department efforts to enforce a decades-old law known as the Foreign Agents Registration Act. It requires anyone who lobbies on behalf of a foreign government or entity to register their work with the U.S. government.

“We are delighted that the District Court today dismissed the government’s ill-conceived lawsuit against Steve Wynn,” his lawyers, Reid Weingarten and Robert Luskin, said in a statement. “Mr. Wynn never acted as an agent of the Chinese government and never lobbied on its behalf.”

The Justice Department has said that it repeatedly advised Wynn over the past four years to register. It sued him in May to try to force him to do so, describing the suit as the first of its kind in more than three decades.

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