Casino Mogul Steve Wynn Resigns After Sexual Misconduct Claims4 years ago
Steve Wynn, the casino mogul at the heart of Wynn Resorts, has resigned his position as CEO of the company in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations amid revelations that a Vegas newspaper ‘spiked’ a similar story on the beleaguered boss 20 years ago – rival casino owner Sheldon Adelson accused of being behind this week’s resurrection of the claims.
“In the last couple of weeks, I have found myself the focus of an avalanche of negative publicity... I have reached the conclusion I cannot continue to be effective in my current roles,” Wynn said in a statement yesterday, his resignation following a massive plunge in the Wynn share prices over the past week.
As head of the massive Wynn Resorts group, Wynn had come under increasing pressure after the Wall Street Journal revealed numerous interviews they had with women who had worked for Mr Wynn, which ‘described behavior that amounted to a decades long pattern of alleged sexual misconduct’ according to the newspaper.
Included in the story was an allegation ‘that Mr. Wynn in 2005 paid a $7.5 million settlement to a manicurist who told people at the time that Mr. Wynn forced her to have sex with him’.
This week saw a new revelation in the sordid tale, with the Las Vegas Review-Journal stating on their front page story: ‘Claims that casino developer Steve Wynn sexually harassed employees could have surfaced years ago but the Las Vegas Review-Journal in 1998 stopped publication of a story that would have brought the issue to light. After killing the article, the newspaper ordered the reporter who wrote it to delete it from the newspaper’s computer system.’
This has led to accusations that fellow casino billionaire and anti-online poker advocate Sheldon Adelson – whose group owns the Review-Journal – had released the story as a hit-piece on his rival, something which both Adelson and the newspaper’s editor have refuted.
"He knew this story was coming when it landed on his driveway this morning," Cook said of Adelson and the 20-year old story, adding, "There's no communication with ownership on this story.”
Wynn himself called the Wall Street Journal accusations “preposterous” when they hit the media last month in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein debacle and the resulting women’s advocacy #metoo campaign.
What Steve Wynn’s resignation means for the future of the Wynn Resorts group is unclear, the company announcing it had appointed Matt Maddox as chief executive, the current president of the company seen by many as ‘Wynn’s favoured protégé’.
According to Reuters, “shares in Wynn Resorts, worth around $17 billion, have tumbled nearly 20 percent”, since the WSJ report last month, while “shares in Wynn Macau Ltd slumped around 17 percent before they were put on a trading halt on Wednesday.”
Steve Wynn himself is reputed to be worth $3.3billion according to Forbes magazine, his business life beginning in the 1960’s with the ‘casino visionary’ behind the iconic Mirage and Bellagio casinos.
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