Nevada regulators looking to ban Steve Wynn

by William Brown Last Updated
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The Nevada Gaming Control Board is moving to ban Steve Wynn, casino mogul and the modern Las Vegas Strip pioneer following accusations of sexual harassing a number of his employees.

In the complaint filed on Monday, the board have accused the former chairman and chief executive of Wynn Resorts of violating the Nevada State regulations and that he was”unsuitable to be associated with a gaming enterprise or the gaming industry as a whole.”

In its claim, the board requested state regulators revoke Wynn’s gaming license and also fine him for failing to appear at an investigatory hearing.

The gaming magnate’s fall from grace has been steady since the Wall Street Journal reported in January 2018 that Wynn had allegedly pressured female employees for sex, using his power and financial strength to create a culture of complicity at his casinos.

Wynn denied all accusations towards him, however did resign as Wynn Resorts’ CEO in February 2018, later selling his stake in the company, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

The University of Pennsylvania, his alma mater, revoked his honorary degree and also stripped his name from a campus plaza and scholarship.

Wynn Resorts received a fine of $US20 million in February by the Nevada gaming regulators for failing to investigate the allegations. In the settlement, the company did acknowledge executives being aware of the accusations against Wynn, including multiple instances which ended in multimillion-dollar payouts for the company.

In the Nevada Gaming Control Board’s seven-month investigation into Wynn’s conduct, it uncovered multiple instances of female employees that received unwanted sexual contact by Wynn, it’s 23 page complaint detailed.

Five counts of complaints raised

The five counts of the complaint address Wynn’s failure to exercise discretion and sound judgment to prevent incidents that might reflect on the repute of the Nevade State and act as a detriment to the development of the gaming industry.

“The evidence from the investigation demonstrates a pattern of Mr Wynn recklessly engaging in sexual conduct with subordinate employees, which even if it was consensual as maintained by Mr Wynn, is oblivious to the significant power imbalance between the CEO of a major gaming company and subordinate employees dependent on Mr Wynn’s approval for continued employment,” the complaint reads.

“”It damaged the public’s confidence and trust in an industry that is vitally important to the economy of the State of Nevada and the general welfare of its inhabitants,” the complaint stated.

Wynn took over his father’s bingo parlour business shortly after graduating from college where he began investing in casinos. Throughout the 1980s and ’90s, Wynn helped architect a new era of Las Vegas glitz through opening luxury casinos such as the Bellagio, which reestablished the city as a destination for the ultra wealthy.

“Steve Wynn is an industry giant,” Boone Wayson, nonexecutive director of the board, said in the statement which announced Wynn’s resignation. “He is a philanthropist and a beloved leader and visionary. He played the pivotal role in transforming Las Vegas into the entertainment destination it is today.”

He co-founded Wynn Resorts  in 2002 with his former wife. The organisation operates six properties in the United States and China, bringing in more than $US6.7 billion in revenue last year.

Forbes estimates Wynn’s net worth to be approximately $3.1 billion.

According to Wynn, Wynn Resorts hold more Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Awards than any other independent hotel company in the world.

Wynn’s business has always been prominent in the United States and in particular Las Vegas, however in recent years the organisation has prospered in China, with resorts in Macau and Kotai proving to be successful ventures.

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