Nevada Regulators Lodge 10 Complaints in Wynn Resorts Probe

Wynn Resorts Nevada Investigation

The Nevada Gaming Control Board said Wynn executives ignored a bevy of complaints ranging from 2005 to 2014.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) ruled on Tuesday that Wynn Resorts’ board of directors ignored allegations of sexual harassment and assault leveled at former chief executive Steve Wynn. The NGCB’s complaint was filed alongside an announcement of a settlement between Wynn Resorts and Nevada regulators on a “substantial fine”.

The size of the fine has not been determined yet, but it is expected to be massive due to the number of complaints reported and the length of the time the board covered up Steve Wynn’s alleged misconduct. The NGCB claims the Wynn board ignored the complaints for over a decade.

In response, Wynn Resorts released a statement that executives accused in the report no longer serve on the board or have connections to the company.

Forbes reported 10 separate complaints by the Gaming Control Board, including a half-dozen complaints filed against Steve Wynn from 2005 to 2014. One complaint was an email mentioned only a Wynn executive who ‘loves sleeping with cocktail servers‘”.

$7.5 Million Payout in 2005

Most of the complaints were filed by cocktail waitresses or other workers at Wynn casinos, though one involved a flight attendant on Wynn’s private jet. A handful of the complaints said the company had failed to follow state-mandated procedures involving sexual misconduct, such as requiring Steve Wynn to undergo sensitivity training. Complaint 10 said Wynn executives failed to report incidents which violated company policies.

The most serious incident happened in 2005, when a former employee accused Steve Wynn of a sexual assault which led to a pregnancy. The Wynn Resorts board paid the woman a $7.5 million settlement, so it would be hard for executives to claim they knew nothing about the case.

Wynn Resorts Statement on Nevada Probe

Wynn Resorts released a statement which did not mention the 10 complaints filed by the regulatory board. The statement also did not include an apology or sense of regret for what had happened. The statement did say that all executives discussed in teh NGCB’s report had been fired or otherwise had left the compamy.

The Wynn Resorts press release read, “Any employee mentioned in the NGCB report who was aware of allegations of sexual assault against the company’s former chairman and did not investigate or report it is no longer with the company.”

Wynn Resorts’ New Board Members

Wynn CEO Matt Maddox added three independent directors to the board in the spring of 2018: Betsy Atkins, Dee Dee Myers, and Wendy Webb. Betsy Atkins was an early investor in Yahoo! and Ebay and she sits on the boards of Volvo, Cognizant, SL Green Realty Corp, Schneider Electric, and HD Supply. Atkins also is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and once sat on the board of the NASDAQ. Wendy Webb was an executive at The Walt Disney Company for more than 20 years.

Dee Dee Myers is notable in political circles, having served as the communications director for the Bill Clinton administration. She was the inspiration for a character on the West Wing who held the same position. Myers is a managing director of the DC-based communications consulting firm, the Glover Park Group. She was a host of the CNBC program Equal Time, and also wrote a 2008 book “Why Women Should Rule the World” — a New York Times best seller.

Matt Maddox also added Phil Satre, the ex-CEO of Harrah’s Entertainment. Phil Satre is an inside director, as he holds the position of Vice Chairman of Wynn Resorts. Besides the inclusion of four new board members, Wynn Resorts eliminated several board members who were known to be close to Steve Wynn. It is a complete reshuffling of the board.

Despite the detailed report by the Nevada Gaming Control Board, the announcement of a settlement between regulators and Wynn Resorts means that the Las Vegas casino company can focus on the future — in Nevada at the last.

Massachusetts Gaming Commission Report

That leaves an impending regulatory oversight report by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission in which the future of a $2.4 billion integrated casino resort in the Boston suburb of Everett will be determined. The MGC has investigated Wynn Resorts’ conduct over the years and is determining with the company deserves to retain a casino license for the Encore Boston Harbor, which is set to open in June 2019.

Because Wynn has less of a history in Massachusetts, the gaming company’s licensing situation is considered more tenuous. The mayor of Everett has come out for Wynn Resorts, claiming he will veto the sale of the casino to potential buyers like Mohegan Sun (the mayor has the right to veto).

In late-breaking news, Steve Wynn and the Massachusetts Gaming Commission reached an agreement by which the MGC’s report on Encore Boston Harbor can be published. Any personal information protected by attorney-client privilege will not be released, though the investigators’ findings can be reported.