Nevada Regulator Looks to Ban Steve Wynn from Casino Sector

  • Nevada Gaming Control Board filed a complaint with five counts against Steve Wynn
  • Complaint relates to sexual misconduct allegations against Wynn Resorts founder
  • Calls for revocation of Gaming Commission’s decision on Wynn's suitability for licensing
  • Claims Wynn’s actions damaged the reputation of the state and its gaming industry
Wynn Resorts founder Steve Wynn posing for photo with woman
Steve Wynn is facing a five-count complaint from Nevada gaming regulators over sexual misconduct allegations., which could see him banned from the casino sector. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Casino mogul faces numerous complaints

The Nevada Gaming Control Board is looking to ban casino mogul Steve Wynn from the casino industry after filing a complaint against him.

The five-count complaint relates to Wynn allegedly sexually harassing a number of former female employees and being in violation of the state’s suitability regulations for license holders.

The 23-page document was signed by the gaming board’s chairwoman Sandra Morgan and board members Philip Katsaros and Terry Johnson. 

Gaming Control Board questions Wynn’s suitability

The complaint filed by the Nevada Gaming Control Board aims to revoke the Nevada Gaming Commission’s decision which found Wynn suitable for licensing in the casino industry. This would mean that the 77-year-old founder of Wynn Resorts would most likely never be able to obtain a Nevada casino license again. The board is also looking to fine Steve Wynn for his conduct.

the 77-year-old founder of Wynn Resorts would most likely never be able to obtain a Nevada casino license again

The gaming control body has directed the state gaming commission to serve this complaint to Wynn. The commission is in charge of granting licenses and giving a ruling on disciplinary matters brought by the state’s gaming control board. Wynn will have a total of 15 days to issue a response to the complaint.

The specific counts of the complaint

Each of the counts in the complaint addresses Steve Wynn’s failure to exercise sound judgment and discretion in preventing the occurrence of incidents which would negatively impact the reputation of the state as well as curtail the gaming industry’s development. 

According to the complaint, “The negative reporting and the underlying conduct harmed Nevada’s reputation and the gaming industry.”

  • The first count relates to Wynn’s failure to comply with the Wynn Resorts policy for sexual harassment. Whether this was consensual contact or not, it was still in violation of the company’s rules. The complaint says: “The Gaming Control Board’s investigation found evidence of multiple instances of sexual contact by Mr Wynn involving subordinate employees.”
  • The second count relates to the conduct of Wynn as the CEO and chairman of Wynn Resorts. It highlights the disparity of power between Wynn and the employees with which he had sexual relations.
  • The third count relates specifically to an accusation from 2005, where Wynn allegedly sexually assaulted a manicurist at a Wynn Las Vegas casino salon. The case led to a private settlement payment of $7.5m, made through a private account of Steve Wynn. Details of the settlement were not made known to the Wynn Resorts company of directors. 
  • The fourth count regards a $975,000 settlement made to a cocktail server in 2006. 
  • The fifth and final count relates to Steve Wynn’s failure to respond to the investigator’s September 7, 2018 hearing. The order to appear was delivered by hand to Wynn’s attorney during a meeting held on August 30, 2018. 

Previous punishments

It was in January 2018 that sexual misconduct allegations were made against the casino mogul in the Wall Street Journal. This led to him stepping down as CEO and Chairman of Wynn Resorts in February 2018, then selling all of his company stock the following month. Steve Wynn has always denied the allegations made against him.

The company itself has already been fined in Massachusetts and Nevada for failing to deal with Wynn’s alleged sexual misconduct. Wynn Resorts got a $20m fine by the Nevada Gaming Commission in February – the largest ever to be issued by the Nevada regulators.

In May, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission came to a similar finding. This saw the company and its new CEO Matt Maddox being fined $35m and $500,000 respectively.