Steve Wynn Settles with Nevada Gaming Control Board on 2019 Misconduct Allegations
Steve Wynn, the once-celebrated casino mogul and founder of Wynn Resorts, agreed this week to pay a hefty $10 million fine to the Nevada Gaming Control Board. It marks the end of a long-standing legal dispute over Wynn’s suitability for future Las Vegas investments.
This settlement case started in 2018 after allegations accusing Wynn of sexual misconduct were brought to light by the Wall Street Journal. A year later, the NGCB moved to sever ties with Wynn and bar him from holding a gaming license in the state.
The new settlement brings that legal battle to a close. Signed by Wynn himself, it effectively severs his ties with the Nevada gaming industry. He is now deemed “unsuitable” for any role within the sector, although a passive ownership of less than 5% is still permissible.
Wynn, now 81, has always maintained his innocence. He neither admits nor denies any of the charges as part of the agreement. He sold his shares in Wynn Resorts for $2 billion in 2018, resigned as CEO, and moved to Florida.
A Tarnished Legacy
The allegations against Wynn were first exposed by the Wall Street Journal, which detailed a “decades-long pattern of sexual misconduct” supported by claims from dozens of women.
These allegations led regulators to argue that the scandal had damaged Nevada’s reputation and that of its gaming industry.
Wynn’s legal team countered that the control board no longer had jurisdiction over him, since by that time, he had already parted ways with his namesake company.
However, in March 2022, the Nevada Supreme Court reversed a lower court’s ruling and sided with the regulators.
Wynn Resorts had to pay a significant fine in relation to its CEO’s alleged actions.
In February 2019, the company agreed to pay a record-breaking $20 million fine to the Gaming Commission to settle a complaint about the many years it took to properly investigate allegations against its founder.
It also paid a $35 million fine to gaming regulators in Massachusetts, where it operates Encore Boston Harbor, for covering up the allegations.
The Man Behind the Mirage
Despite the controversy, Steve Wynn’s impact on the Las Vegas Strip is undeniable. He is credited with creating The Mirage and Bellagio before the Wynn and was one of the key figures in turning Las Vegas into the luxury resort town it is today.
Since the allegations emerged in 2018, Wynn has lived a reclusive life in Florida, apparently focusing on art collecting and real estate. According to Forbes, he has a net worth of $3.2 billion, some of which is tied up in expensive properties across the US.
That includes an $85 million California mansion that still hasn’t sold, despite being on the market for two years, two lodges in Idaho that were selling for $27 million the pair, and a New York City penthouse worth $90 million (not for sale).
Meanwhile, Wynn Resorts continues to perform to a high standard without its disgraced former owner at the helm. Last week, Wynn Las Vegas won best Las Vegas Hotel award from Travel + Tourism magazine for the fourth year in a row.