Workplace Misconduct Settlement: Steve Wynn Agrees to Pay $10 Million

by / ⠀Featured News / July 28, 2023
Workplace Misconduct Settlement: Steve Wynn Agrees to Pay $10 Million

In a protracted legal battle with Nevada’s gambling regulators, the prominent casino tycoon, Steve Wynn, has reached a settlement entailing a substantial $10 million fine and a complete disentanglement from the industry he once wielded tremendous influence over in Las Vegas. The Nevada Gaming Commission is poised to accept this accord, with Wynn steadfastly denying any culpability. This piece delves into the intricacies of the settlement, the allegations levied against Wynn, and the ramifications for his future association with the gambling realm.

Background

Steve Wynn, the erstwhile CEO of Wynn Resorts, found himself embroiled in a scandal marred by allegations of workplace sexual misconduct. The damnable accusations against him surfaced when several women mustered the courage to come forward, recounting distressing incidents of harassment and assault at his hotel establishments. In the wake of these grave allegations, made public by the Wall Street Journal, Wynn resigned from his prestigious positions and divested his stake in the company.

The Settlement Agreement

The settlement agreement, an extensive seven-page document bearing Wynn’s signature, meticulously delineates the terms of the accord. Wynn stands accused of failing to exercise prudence and sound judgment, consequently allowing incidents that cast an unfavorable shadow on the gaming industry and the state of Nevada. As part of this far-reaching settlement, Wynn will part with a substantial $10 million as a punitive measure and severe nearly all ties to the gambling sphere.

Passive Ownership

As per the stipulations of the settlement, Wynn will be permitted to maintain “passive ownership” in a publicly traded corporation registered with the Gaming Commission, up to a maximum of 5%. However, he will be divested of any semblance of control, authority, advisory role, or decision-making power within the industry. Any contravention of this agreement may lead to a damning determination of “unsuitability” and trigger further punitive fines.

Implications for Wynn

A finding of “unsuitability” would be a grievous blow to Wynn’s once-celebrated standing in the gambling domain. He has been widely lauded for his instrumental role in transforming Las Vegas Strip properties into opulent resorts, leaving an indelible mark on the city’s landscape. His portfolio includes the illustrious Golden Nugget, Wynn, Mirage, Bellagio, Treasure Island, and Encore in Las Vegas, as well as establishments in Atlantic City, Macau, Biloxi, and Boston.

Legal Battles and Rulings

Wynn’s legal tussle with Nevada’s gambling regulators has been a protracted affair. In a significant development, the Nevada Supreme Court ruled against Wynn in March 2022, asserting that a state judge had acted prematurely in concluding that the state lacked authority to penalize him. Wynn’s legal team ardently argued that the Gaming Control Board and the Nevada Gaming Commission no longer retained jurisdiction over his affairs.

Regulatory Investigation

The allegations of grave misconduct against Wynn spurred a comprehensive regulatory investigation by the Nevada Gaming Control Board. Subsequently, Wynn’s gaming license was placed on administrative hold, and in October 2019, the Gaming Commission initiated disciplinary action against him, contemplating a potential fine of up to $500,000 and a declaration of unsuitability for his continued involvement in gambling within Nevada.

Previous Fines and Settlements

Prior to this settlement, Steve Wynn’s former company, Wynn Resorts Ltd., faced a staggering $20 million fine from the Nevada Gaming Commission for its failure to probe allegations of sexual misconduct. In an additional blow, Wynn Resorts Ltd. was Massachusetts gambling regulators fined a substantial $35 million by Massachusetts gambling regulators, along with a $500,000 fine for the newly-appointed CEO, Matthew Maddox, for their failure to disclose misconduct allegations during the application process for a Boston-area resort license.

Furthermore, Wynn Resorts reached settlements with shareholders, agreeing to pay $20 million in damages, with Wynn personally contributing to this sum, while an additional $21 million was contributed by insurance carriers on behalf of current and former employees. These settlements conclusively resolved shareholder lawsuits, accusing company directors of concealing misconduct allegations.

Conclusion

The protracted legal feud between Steve Wynn and Nevada’s gambling regulators is on the precipice of its conclusion, culminating in a settlement involving a substantial $10 million fine and an estrangement from the gambling industry. Wynn, despite steadfastly denying any wrongdoing in the face of sexual misconduct allegations, retains the privilege of passive ownership in a publicly traded corporation, albeit devoid of any authority or decision-making power. The settlement bears momentous implications for Wynn’s esteemed reputation and his future association with the industry he once so powerfully shaped.

FAQ

1. What are the allegations against Steve Wynn?

Steve Wynn stands accused of workplace sexual misconduct, as several women courageously came forward, recounting incidents of harassment and assault at his hotel establishments.

2. What is the settlement agreement?

The settlement agreement mandates a significant $10 million fine and a near-complete disentanglement from the gambling industry. While Wynn may maintain “passive ownership” in a publicly traded corporation, he forfeits all control and decision-making power.

3. What are the implications of the settlement for Wynn?

The settlement potentially exposes Wynn to a damning determination of “unsuitability” in the gambling industry, delivering a substantial blow to his once-admired legacy as a key figure in transforming properties on the Las Vegas Strip.

4. What previous fines and settlements have been imposed on Wynn and his company?

Before this settlement, Wynn Resorts Ltd., the company Steve Wynn formerly led, faced a record-breaking $20 million fine from the Nevada Gaming Commission for failing to probe sexual misconduct claims. Wynn Resorts Ltd. was also fined a significant $35 million by Massachusetts gambling regulators for failing to disclose misconduct allegations during the license application process.

5. Have there been any legal rulings in Wynn’s favor?

In March 2022, the Nevada Supreme Court ruled against Wynn, stating that a state judge had acted prematurely in ruling that the state lacked the authority to penalize him. Wynn’s attorneys argued that the Nevada Gaming Control Board and the Gaming Commission no longer retained jurisdiction over his affairs.

About The Author

Kimberly Zhang

Editor in Chief of Under30CEO. I have a passion for helping educate the next generation of leaders.

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