The board asked state regulators to revoke Wynn’s gambling license and fine him for failing to appear at an investigatory hearing.
The move marks the latest chapter in the magnate’s drawn-out fall from grace since the Wall Street Journal reported in January 2018 that Wynn had pressured female employees for sex and used his wealth and power to create a culture of complicity at his casinos.
Although he has denied all accusations against him, he resigned as Wynn Resorts’s CEO in February 2018 and later sold his stake in the company. He also stepped down as finance chairman of the Republican National Committee and saw business deals collapse. His alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania, revoked his honorary degree and stripped his name from a campus plaza and scholarship.
Nevada gambling regulators hit Wynn Resorts with a record $20 million fine in February for failing to investigate the harassment allegations. In the settlement, the company acknowledged that executives had been aware of the accusations against Wynn, including multiple instances that ended in multimillion-dollar payouts. One involved a manicurist who said Wynn had raped her and gotten her pregnant. She reached a $7.5 million settlement with the company in 2007, the Wall Street Journal reported.
In its own seven-month investigation of Wynn, the Nevada Gaming Control Board uncovered multiple instances of female employees who were subjected to unwanted sexual contact by Wynn, according to the complaint.
“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 said.
The son of a debt-laden bingo parlor operator, Wynn took over his father’s business shortly after graduating from college and began investing in casinos. Throughout the 1980s and ’90s, Wynn helped usher in a new era of Las Vegas glitz through luxury casinos such as the Mirage and Bellagio, reestablishing the city as a destination for the ultrawealthy. He became a member of that crowd in the process, and now has an estimated fortune of $3.1 billion, according to Forbes.
“Steve Wynn is an industry giant,” Boone Wayson, nonexecutive director of the board, said in the statement announcing 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.”
Wynn co-founded Wynn Resorts — a key player in Nevada’s $67.6 billion gambling industry — in 2002 with his former wife. The company operates six properties in the United States and China and brought in more than $6.7 billion in revenue last year. Its shares were up more than 2.2 percent Tuesday, to nearly $115 each.