Steve Wynn’s 60-year career in the casino biz is officially over after he reached an agreement with the Nevada Gaming Commission that will see him banned from holding any position of control or authority in any publicly traded company registered with the regulator. He will also pay a US$10 million settlement.
The agreement relates to infamous sexual misconduct allegations levelled against Wynn, now aged 81, by former staff of Wynn Las Vegas in 2018. Although he has still refused to admit to any of those allegations, they did force him to stand down as Wynn Resorts CEO at the time and later sell off his entire 12.1% stake in the company.
The Nevada Gaming Commission filed its complaint against him in 2019, claiming he had “subjected subordinate employees to unwelcome sexual advances” and jeopardized the reputation of the entire Nevada gaming industry.
As reported by CBS News, the settlement allows Wynn to only hold passive ownership of up to 5% in a publicly traded corporation registered with the regulator, but no “control, authority, advisory role or decision-making power.”
Should he attempt to do so, he could be found unsuitable and face further monetary penalties.
Steve Wynn previously paid what was at the time a secret US$7.5 million settlement to one of the employees, a manicurist, involved in the allegations levelled against him, while Wynn Resorts paid US$20 million in 2019 for its failure to investigate the claims and take action against its founder.
“Resolving this matter with Mr. Wynn protects the gaming industry and the citizens of Nevada,” said Nevada Gaming Control Board, chairman Kirk Hendrick in a statement. “Closing this dark chapter in Nevada’s gaming history allows more time for the board to continue effectively and efficiently regulating Nevada’s most important industry.”
Steve Wynn first entered the gaming business in 1963 when he took over his father’s bingo parlor in Maryland, before moving his family to Las Vegas in 1967 and purchasing a small stake in the Frontier Hotel and Casino.
He famously opened The Mirage in 1989 and Treasure Island four years later, but it was the 1998 launch of the Bellagio that is credited with paving the way for the luxurious integrated resorts seen in gaming hotspots around the world today.
He eventually sold his company to MGM Grand Inc for US$6.6 billion in 2000, using the proceeds to develop Wynn Las Vegas – opened in 2005 at a cost of US$2.7 billion – on the site of the old Desert Inn.
Today, Wynn Resorts not only operates Wynn Las Vegas and Encore but also Encore Boston Harbor and another two integrated resorts in Macau, Wynn Macau and Wynn Palace, under its majority-owned subsidiary, Wynn Macau Ltd. The company is currently developing a US$3.9 billion IR on the man-made Al Marjan Island in Ras Al Khaimah, the United Arab Emirates.