Wynn Resorts Sues Fontainebleau Las Vegas Over Alleged Staff Poaching

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Wynn Las Vegas is going forward with a lawsuit against rival Sin City luxury resort Fontainebleau Las Vegas, court filings released this week reveal.

The two Nevada casinos are in a dispute over a series of Wynn employees that left for the newly opened Fontainebleau Las Vegas.

Wynn says Fontainebleau agreed in 2023 that it would stop poaching Wynn Las Vegas’ under-contract employees, but did not cease the behavior as promised.

The Fontainebleau has been beleaguered by underperformance and high executive turnover since its December 2023 launch after 15 years of delays.

“Clearly, we want all operators in Las Vegas to be successful. It’s good for the city in which we all live,” the company said in a statement this week.

“We just want that to happen without interference in the contractual agreements our employees have negotiated with us.”

The Lawsuit

Wynn Resorts made the filing in Clark County Court late last week.

It alleges that Fontainebleau attempted to hire under-contract Wynn executives since 2022. When Wynn threatened a lawsuit that year, Fontainebleau agreed to a settlement and said it would cease the offending behavior.

“Wynn Las Vegas requires its executive-level employees to agree to a noncompetition provision that precludes the employee, during their employment term, from accepting similar employment with a Wynn Las Vegas competitor,” the suit said.

Despite that, Fontainebleau did employ former Wynn execs. It specifically mentions the new resort’s Senior Vice President of Culinary David Snyder, who previously worked in a similar role at Wynn before joining Fontainebleau in late 2023.

It also alleges that Synder has since tried to recruit other staff from Wynn.

Chefs, nightlife execs, administrators – all were fair game for Fontainebleau, according to the suit. In total, it lists nine cases it knows of in which Wynn employees were tapped by Fontainebleau’s team.

Apparently, one job interview was actually held at Wynn Las Vegas.

“Exemplifying Fontainebleau’s infatuation with Wynn, this offer occurred at a meeting on Wynn Las Vegas property, at the Wynn Tower Suite Bar,” the suit said.

Tortious Interference

Wynn believes this pattern of poaching amounted to “tortious interference” with its operations.

The beef between the two luxury Nevada casinos has not been entirely one-sided, however.

On Fontainebleau’s opening night, headline performer Justin Timberlake snubbed a comped suite at the new resort for, you guessed it, his usual rooms at The Wynn.

That’s a fact that Wynn couldn’t resist posting on social media in a dig at Fontainebleau.

It has now returned with its legal request for a restraining order on any more Wynn employees moving to Fontainebleau while under contract. The suit also seeks punitive and restorative damages.

Meanwhile, the $3.8 billion new Fontainebleau Las Vegas hasn’t had the best opening months.

Four executives departed the operator within a month of its grand launch. That was amid rumors that the casino hadn’t attracted as many high-end gamblers as anticipated.

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