Steve Wynn Lights Torch at Raiders Game Amid Cheers and Some Jeers

Posted on: September 27, 2021, 09:13h. 

Last updated on: September 28, 2021, 12:51h.

Former casino mogul Steve Wynn, 79, was mostly met with cheers on Sunday when he lit the torch at Allegiant Stadium ahead of the Las Vegas Raiders’ game against the Miami Dolphins, The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports. But video from the ceremonial event also recorded some jeers, acknowledging the controversy of the Raiders’ choice of celebrity guest.

steve wynn
Steve Wynn and his wife, Andrea Hissom, lighting the Al Davies Memorial Torch at the Raiders’ Allegiant Stadium Sunday. This was his first appearance in recent years. (Image: KM Cannon/LVRJ)

It’s Wynn’s first public appearance since he resigned from the Wynn Resorts board in February 2018 amid allegations of sexual misconduct and the coercion of female staff members. He later sold his stake in the company.

In February 2018, Nevada regulators fined Wynn Resorts $20 million for the failures of executives to investigate allegations against its founder. Some board members were aware that Wynn made a $7.5 million payment to a former manicurist, who alleged he had raped and impregnated her, according to court documents.

Wynn’s Fall from Grace

Wynn denies the accusations of sexual misconduct but has withdrawn himself completely from the casino industry to safeguard his former company’s licenses. The billionaire has since reinvented himself as a fine art dealer in Florida.

But the Raiders were keen to emphasize Wynn’s services to the industry and to the city on Sunday. Over the PA, the announcer described him as the man who “transformed Las Vegas into a worldwide tourist destination.”

In a statement, the Raiders said they wanted to acknowledge Wynn had been “one of the first to lend support and meet with Raiders Owner Mark Davis and was a champion of bringing the Raiders to Las Vegas.”

“Wynn is well known for his expansion of Las Vegas and continues to pursue various entrepreneurial opportunities,” read the statement.

Wynn to Stay Private 

The lighting of the torch has been a tradition at Raiders games since 2011 in memory of Davis’ father, longtime owner Al Davis.

I loved it,” Wynn told media afterward. “This is America. Everybody here is all different colors, having a ball. That’s Las Vegas.”

Wynn was accompanied by his wife, the British socialite Andrea Hissom, 51. For the occasion, they wore matching Raiders home jerseys with “WYNN” emblazoned on the back.

However, Wynn stated he would not be back to public experience. “I am a private citizen,” Wynn said. “I’m just enjoying Las Vegas being an all-American city.”

The last three years have been the happiest of my life, thanks to Andrea,” he continued, as reported by the Review-Journal. “I’m just here to enjoy this unbelievable event with 65,000 other people, watching the Las Vegas NFL team.”

The Raiders originally partnered with the late Sheldon Adelson, then chairman of Las Vegas Sands Corp, in a bid to bring the team to Las Vegas. Although that relationship dissolved acrimoniously, it led the Nevada legislature to approve a hotel room tax increase to help fund the construction of Allegiant Stadium.