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Wynn security chief ousted

Tue, Apr 16, 8:53am by Staff Writer

Wynn Resorts has removed its security chief after he acknowledged spying on the company co-founder and its employees.

Chief executive officer Matthew Maddox said James Stern, the executive vice president of corporate security, was informed last weekend the company would “no longer require his services”.

Stern told the commission last week that he watched company co-founder Elaine Wynn and three employees, including one named in The Wall Street Journal’s 2018 report of sexual misconduct allegations against Steve Wynn.

Stern is a former FBI agent who testified that he’d sent undercover operatives to monitor current and former employees, including former stylist Jorgen Nielsen.

Could Wynn be banned?

Tunf.com is reporting that Steve Wynn may soon be banned from Wynn Resorts Casinos, the enterprise he inaugurated 17 years ago.

It is unpleasant news for the billionaire founder and former CEO of the Nevada property.

Wynn Resorts is hoping to convince Massachusetts gaming regulators that times have changed at the Las Vegas flagship locations since they were founded in 2002.

The Wynn Palace on the Cotai Strip is the world’s richest gambling hub at $4.2 billion.

Employees top 25,000 in all locations, with a combined revenue of $6.72 billion in 2018.

Wynn resigned in February 2018 and sold his stake in the business after allegations of sexual misconduct arose.

Report into allegations tabled at meeting

A 200-page report by the state Gaming Commission doesn’t make a recommendation about the fate of the company’s Massachusetts casino licence or its nearly US$3 billion Boston-area resort slated to open in June.

It does conclude by saying that recent reforms touted by the company – including the resignation of Mr Wynn as chief executive officer and the ousting of every official who knew of the allegations but failed to report them – does not “erase the fact that the corporate failure revealed in this investigation are significant, repetitive and reflective of the company’s historical governance practices.”

Mr Wynn stepped down in February following the allegations.

The board “reluctantly” accepted his resignation at the time, with the company remarking in a statement that they appointed Matt Maddox, its then president, as chief executive officer immediately.

“In the last couple of weeks, I have found myself the focus of an avalanche of negative publicity,” Mr Wynn said in a statement.

“As I have reflected upon the environment this has created – on in which a rush to judgment takes precedence over everything else, including the facts – I have reached the conclusion I cannot continue to be effective in my current roles.”

Wynn had been in the spotlight since the Wall Street Journal published a report in January that alleged he pressured employees for sex and paid US$7.5 million to settle claims brought by a former manicurist at his Las Vegas resort.

Wynn, 76, has denied any wrongdoing, calling the claims “preposterous” and saying they were instigated by his ex-wife to seek advantage in their divorce lawsuit.

His exist sets up a challenge for a company whose glamorous image has long been tied to its founder.

Wynn started in Las Vegas casinos in the 1960s, creating some of Las Vegas’ most iconic landmarks – the Mirage, Bellagio and Treasure Island.

He was forced to sell his multi-billion dollar operation Mirage Resorts to tycoon Kirk Kerkorian in a hostile takeover in 2000.

Kerkorian then created MGM Mirage and Wynn went on to create Wynn Resorts with his ex-wife in 2002.

There are no plans to change the name of the casino company despite Wynn’s departure, said a company source.

Wynn still lives on Wynn Resorts’ Las Vegas property, in a villa he rents.


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