Steve Wynn Claims He Was Victim in $7.5M Settlement, Wynn Resorts Execs Apologize in Massachusetts

Posted on: April 3, 2019, 09:20h. 

Last updated on: April 3, 2019, 09:20h.

Steve Wynn says he was the victim when he paid a female employee $7.5 million in 2005 after she claimed to have been raped by the Las Vegas billionaire.

Steve Wynn Boston casino Encore
Steve Wynn admits he paid a female employee $7.5 million, but disputes he acted inappropriately. (Image: Mike Blake/Reuters)

This week, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) began holding hearings into whether Wynn Resorts executives purposely concealed knowledge of its founder and former CEO’s alleged sexual misconduct when the company was bidding in 2013 for the Boston-area casino license. The MGC’s Investigations and Enforcement Bureau (IEB) found that the company was indeed aware of the claims at the time.

In depositions filed with the MGC, Mr. Wynn says he was the victim in 2005. The testimony comes from an unrelated case in 2017.

The billionaire claims “it started off as a manicure,” but then he alleges the unidentified woman started rubbing his leg. Mr. Wynn says the foreplay led to sexual intercourse.

I realize now I should have reported it,” Mr. Wynn said in 2017. “Anybody who is over 10 years old and knows what goes on in the world knows what happens next.”

“Along comes this gal who had a turn with me, obviously being advised on what to do. So, in this context, $7.5 million was not a significant number. And I paid it,” he declared.

Wynn Execs Apologize

The MGC requested that 11 Wynn Resorts executives and/or board members be in Boston this week for the agency’s hearings. Among them is Elaine Wynn, now the largest individual shareholder. CEO Matt Maddox – a Steve Wynn protégé who now heads the company as CEO – is also before the regulatory commission.

“Fourteen months ago when The Wall Street Journal article came out, our company was shaken to its core,” Maddox said Tuesday. “We were in crisis, and many of us were in denial.”

“I began to realize that there were many victims — and those victims felt powerless. For that, I am deeply remorseful,” Maddox declared. “They felt that they didn’t have a voice.”

The CEO continued: “That if they were to speak up they could be retaliated against. Or if they did, it would not be investigated. For that, I am truly sorry. I am sorry that our company did not live up to its values. And when I started to realize that truth, I took it very personally. And decided that no matter who the CEO is of Wynn Resorts, or who the chairman is, that would never happen again.”

Globe Opines

The MGC is determining whether a penalty against Wynn Resorts for failing to disclose the alleged sexual misconduct is warranted.

The worst-case scenario is the state determines that the casino operator isn’t suitable to retain its $85 million Encore Boston Harbor license. The $2.6 billion integrated resort is set to open in June.

The Boston Globe, one of the most acclaimed media outlets in the US and the most circulated newspaper in Massachusetts, says it’s time to fine Wynn Resorts and move on.

Globe Deputy Managing Editor Larry Edelman writes in an op-ed, “Wynn Resorts doesn’t deny it screwed up. It’s time to take it to the woodshed and move on.”

He suggests the MGC levy a $100 million fine on the company, but allow Wynn to keep its gaming license.