Former Wynn Resorts Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn has reached an agreement with the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) to settle a sexual harassment complaint that was filed against him in 2019. He will pay $10 million but hasn’t admitted to wrongdoing in the case.
The Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC) will consider the settlement during its meeting on July 27. If approved, it would be the largest fine the Commission has ever imposed on an individual licensee.
Wynn Resorts representatives have not commented on the settlement. The terms of the agreement stipulate that Wynn will waive the right to a hearing on the matter, while neither admitting nor denying any wrongdoing.
Wynn will also dissociate himself from any further involvement in the Nevada gaming industry, direct or indirect. That includes affiliations, financing, consultation, promotional advertising, or licensing agreements.
Harassment Allegations Made in 2018
The complaint surfaced after various publications, including the Wall Street Journal, reported on allegations of sexual harassment made by female employees in 2018. Wynn has continuously denied the allegations.
However, in response to the intense public scrutiny, he decided to step down from his company roles. He also resigned as finance chair for the Republican National Committee.
The sexual harassment complaint was filed approximately a year and a half after Wynn’s resignation from his executive position at Wynn Resorts. Following his resignation, he divested his financial stake in the company. He also moved away from the resort’s villa and relocated to Florida.
When NGCB prepared a disciplinary hearing before the NGC against Wynn in 2022, he claimed he shouldn’t have to appear. That was because he divested himself financially from Wynn and is no longer a license holder.
Wynn’s “Foreign Agent” Suit Still Ongoing
In his involvement with politics, Wynn is fighting another case. In May 2022, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) brought a suit against Wynn. It was attempting to compel him to register as a foreign agent under the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA).
Despite seeing some merit in the claims, District Court Judge James Boasberg agreed with the defense that the DOJ had waited too long to bring its case. In the meantime, the law’s statute of limitations had expired.
However, the DOJ is not giving up just yet. On May 12, the US Attorney General asked the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to overturn the lower court’s ruling.
Wynn Resorts Fined, Faces Lawsuit
While Wynn resigned and divested in Wynn Resorts, the company faced backlash for not acting. In February 2019, NGC fined Wynn Resorts $20 million for failing to respond to the harassment complaints.
Three months later, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) fined Wynn Resorts an additional $35 million fon similar grounds. MGC also fined then-CEO Matt Maddox $500,000. At the time, Wynn Resorts was still waiting to receive a license in Massachusetts for its Encore Boston Harbor property. Despite the fine, MGC granted the license.
Wynn Resorts is also facing a lawsuit from its shareholders. The suit accuses management of deceiving investors and covering up the alleged misconduct of Wynn.