Wynn Resorts Dealt Highest Ever Fine in Nevada Gaming History Over Steve Wynn Sexual Misconduct Scandal

Posted on: February 26, 2019, 01:51h. 

Last updated on: February 26, 2019, 01:51h.

The scandal that engulfed Wynn Resorts in 2018 was “not about one man,” said Nevada Gaming Commission member Philip Pro on Tuesday morning, it was about “a failure of corporate culture to govern itself.”

Wynn Resorts
The Encore Boston Harbor is hiring, despite a lack of clarity over whether Wynn Resorts has been deemed suitable for licensing in Massachusetts. Meanwhile, the company faced the music in Nevada Tuesday. (Image: Wynn Resorts)

The $20 million fine subsequently imposed on Wynn Resorts by the commission is the highest ever in its history.

But the regulator conceded the company had made changes to its corporate culture and governance since explosive sexual misconduct allegations surfaced against its former chairman and CEO, Steve Wynn.

Wynn Resorts has admitted that board members failed to investigate at least eight allegations made against its founder about sexual misconduct towards employees and were aware of a 2005 payment of more than $7 million made he to silence a manicurist who had accused him of coercing her into sex.

Veteran gaming journalist Howard Stutz tweeted Tuesday that it would take the company roughly nine days to generate $20 million in profit.

Suitability in Massachusetts

On Sunday and Monday, Wynn Resorts held a job fair in Boston in a bid to fill some 5,800 positions that will be created by the opening of the Encore Boston Harbor — or so the casino giant hopes.

Wynn Resorts is still awaiting the verdict of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission’s investigation into its licensing suitability.

The MGC probe has focused on whether Wynn Resorts has completely severed its ties to its founder, as well as to board members who turned a blind eye to his alleged behavior.

But the verdict has been temporarily gagged due to a lawsuit filed by Steve Wynn that claims certain documents handed by Wynn Resorts to investigators are protected under the attorney-client privilege and should not be made public. On Friday, MGC gave its legal team authority to settle the lawsuit.

Cornhole and Jenga

Wynn Resorts’ new chairman Phil Satre has said he is confident the company’s efforts to effect change in corporate culture and governance since its founder’s fall from grace will satisfy the regulator and that the casino will open on schedule.

At the Hynes Convention Center in Boston on Sunday and Monday, few of thousands of hopeful applicants were aware of the company’s problems. Perhaps they were distracted by the games of cornhole and Jenga they were encouraged to play by company employees, while a live DJ banged out top 40 hits, as reported Monday by local radio station WBUR.

Wynn Resorts has pledged to prioritize employment for local residents and hire 50 percent women, 40 percent minorities, and three percent military veterans.

One hopeful told Mass Live she thought that the Encore Boston Harbor — once known as the Wynn Boston Harbor — was the “pinnacle” of the gaming industry.