Rumor: Blackstone to Acquire Elaine Wynn’s Stake in Wynn Resorts

Opening paragraphs are usually packed with critical information, conveyed in a clear and concise manner, about news that could impact people. This isn’t that. Here, we’re asking a simple question: How boring would Las Vegas be without us?

This paragraph isn’t any better. Sorry, financial guys in New York. It’s not always about you.

This paragraph’s a little more like traditional journalism, despite our best efforts: A source who wishes to remain anonymous claims Blackstone is buying the stocks of the biggest individual shareholder of Wynn Resorts, Elaine Wynn. That’s a 9% stake. Translation: That’s a metric hell-ton of money.

A little on the nose this time, A.I.

We reached out to Wynn Resorts about this rumor, but there has been no response. We take that as a confirmation, but nothing has been officially announced. It’s a public company, they can’t confirm anything to a blogger. There will be freak-outs.

So, what would it mean if Blackstone acquires Elaine Wynn’s stake in Wynn Resorts? We don’t know. We do scoop, then other people do the boring part like filling in the blanks and doing math, our least favorite part of any story.

We just like sharing things we hear, sometimes in the form of rhetorical questions we can later point to in order to embarrass the Las Vegas Review-Journal if a rumor comes to fruition.

Blackstone, of course, is “the world’s largest alternative asset manager, with more than $1 trillion in AUM.”

“AUM” means “assets under management,” or “the sum of the market value for all of the investments managed by a fund or family of funds.” If you didn’t know that before we just looked it up in a search engine, you are an uneducated rube.

Blackstone owns Cosmopolitan (it’s complicated), Bellagio, Aria and Vdara. Blackstone once owned Mandalay Bay and MGM Grand, too, but those are now owned by Vici Properties, “landlord of The Strip.”

It’s a common misconception MGM Resorts owns all these hotels, but they just operate them, part of MGM’s “asset light” strategy. Trust us, you are not the first person to mouth the letters “WTF?” after learning that.

Blackstone acquiring a 9% stake in Wynn Resorts is a big deal, should the rumor pan out.

Elaine Wynn, of course, was the longtime wife of disgraced mogul Steve Wynn. The Wynns had a messy and expensive divorce. Part of the conflict involved Elaine Wynn not being able to sell her stock in Wynn Resorts (restrictions imposed as a condition of their divorce settlement). She wasn’t happy about that, so Elaine Wynn revealed Steve Wynn had paid a manicurist $7.5 million in hush money related to sexual misconduct.

In 2018, there was a firestorm of sexual misconduct allegations against Steve Wynn, but make no mistake, Elaine Wynn started the fire.

There was another kerfuffle when Elaine Wynn wasn’t offered a seat on the board of Wynn Resorts. Hell hath no fury and all that.

How this whole saga hasn’t been made into a movie yet, we have no idea. One hint: Steve Wynn is very litigious. There’s a project in the works based upon “Winner Takes All,” the epic book by Christina Binkley, but Steve Wynn has already made it known he’s ready to sue if the filmmakers get anything wrong. Steve Wynn has a long history of suing people.

Steve Wynn’s asshat behavior (there was a lot of it) included suing writer John L. Smith over his excellent book, “Running Scared.” Nevada eventually got one of the strongest anti-SLAPP laws in America (giving defendants a way to get meritless lawsuits dismissed), and it comes in handy when rich jerks attack First Amendment rights. Yes, rumors are free speech.

Should Blackstone acquire Elaine Wynn’s stock, it would be the first time one or both of the Wynns don’t have a controlling interest in Wynn Resorts.

Blackstone looked like it was reeling back its presence on The Strip, but owning a big chunk of Wynn stock would be a big statement it’s here to stay.

We await confirmation or denial or whatever comes down the pike, despite not fully knowing what a “pike” is.