Casino Mogul Steve Wynn Slammed With Sexual Misconduct Allegations

It’s the story that’s rocked Las Vegas to its core. Dozens of women have accused visionary casino mogul Steve Wynn of sexual misconduct.

An explosive story in the Wall Street Journal has confirmed what Las Vegas insiders have known for decades, and now the fortunes of Steve Wynn and Wynn Resorts are uncertain.

According to the Wall Street Journal, 150 people were contacted and dozens have come forward to share experiences ranging from awkward to outrageous to downright shocking involving Steve Wynn. The article sheds light on an alleged pattern of predatory interactions with women, many of whom were Wynn’s subordinates.

Or as Las Vegas keno runners refer to it: Tuesday.

Steve Wynn

His day of reckoning has arrived, and Steve Wynn is in for a bumpy ride.

The Wall Street Journal story also answers a question many Vegas observers have wondered about: How much did Steve Wynn pay to settle an allegation by a manicurist who claimed he coerced into having sex? The answer: $7.5 million.

Steve Wynn has dismissed the allegations of sexual impropriety, deeming the dozens and dozens of stories by dozens and dozens of women as “preposterous.”

preposterous

As if you needed further proof we are not an actual journalist.

We can’t really do justice when it comes to the quantity or creepiness of the allegations, so check them out if you haven’t already.

The Wall Street Journal revelations came as a surprise to precisely zero people familiar with Steve Wynn and the untold number of executives and members of the media who turned a blind eye to his behavior through the years.

The Wall Street Journal story, which has received international media coverage, has had some immediate fallout.

On the day the story was released, Wynn Resorts lost 10% of its market value, which translates into a mind-boggling $2 billion. In a day.

Steve Wynn has also resigned as the finance chairman of the Republican National Committee.

There have been calls for Wynn to be investigated or removed as Chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts.

The Wynn Resorts board of directors has also formed a committee to investigate the allegations of sexual misconduct. Thirteen years after the $7.5 million settlement.

It’s been reported the Massachusetts Gaming Commission has opened a probe into Wynn Resorts.

Wynn Las Vegas

Maybe they should’ve done this on a dry erase board.

So, what does all this mean for Steve Wynn, Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas?

Well, it most certainly means Steve Wynn’s impressive legacy has been tarnished for good. No matter what successes he’s had, there will always be an asterisk next to his name. Think Woody Allen, but with a better art collection.

It’s difficult to see a scenario where Steve Wynn doesn’t have to step down from running Wynn Resorts. The evidence of bad, and possibly illegal, behavior is overwhelming.

Wynn Resorts is in for some tough times. Steve Wynn is personally intertwined with the company. He is, in essence, the brand. His leadership and vision and sensibility have built the company into both the world’s most-admired casino company and the most profitable on The Strip.

While some investors in Wynn Resorts stock may see the dramatic drop in value as an opportunity to buy, we’re pretty sure this is just the beginning of the pain. We’ve seen previously unreported allegations by Wynn’s former wife, Elaine Wynn, and while the upcoming controversy is likely to be less sexy than the current firestorm, it’s going to be another huge blow to investors and Wynn’s company.

Wynn Las Vegas atrium

Whatever his transgressions, there’s no denying Steve Wynn has brought many beautiful things to Las Vegas.

As the days go by, it seems likely Steve Wynn’s new reality is going to sink in. At the moment, he’s fully committed to the victim narrative (Wynn is blaming his ex-wife for the accusations—talk about preposterous), but that will change as pressure mounts.

The sex scandal playbook requires that, at some point, Steve Wynn publicly apologize and “take full responsibility” for his actions.

Odds are he’ll step down, making it clear he’s only doing it to avoid hardships for the stockholders and his beloved employees, followed by some well-crafted blah, blah, blah.

There’s a chance Wynn’s gaming license could be revoked. (A license holder must someone of “good character, honesty and integrity,” among other things.)

We’d also place a small wager on Wynn saying he’s entering into treatment for a “sex addiction.” It’s not like the wheel’s being re-invented here.

Oh, and there has to be a class action lawsuit in the offing. Wynn’s pockets are just too deep (his estimated worth is $3.5 billion) for the bottom-feeders to resist.

We also suspect revelations about the misbehavior of high-placed casino executives has just begun. As with Harvey Weinstein, the floodgates have been opened, and it seems inevitable other women will now find the courage to speak out about a culture of exploitation that’s been pervasive in Las Vegas since the day it was conceived.

All bets are off on the hush money paid to victims through the years in Las Vegas, and it’s about time these serial perpetrators receive their comeuppance. (Rumor has it a number of casino executives fled town after the Wall Street Journal story broke, to “reconnect with family” and, presumably, pray.)

Who are the executives likely to be caught up in the Las Vegas edition of the #MeToo movement? Ask any dealer, bartender or cocktail waitress. They all know the names.

Le Reve Wynn Las Vegas

We’ve given up hope this is all just a bad “rêve.”

The good news is, of course, the day of reckoning for Steve Wynn is a rallying cry for women who have endured unwanted sexual advances and abhorrent behavior in casinos and elsewhere. They no longer have to feel intimidated or powerless. If Steve Wynn, the self-proclaimed “most powerful man in Nevada,” can be held accountable for his sexual misdeeds, anyone can.

That said, this blog counts itself among those who are rattled and dismayed by the Steve Wynn revelations because Steve Wynn, in large part, made Las Vegas what it is, and we really, really love Las Vegas.

We love that Wynn Resorts has planned so many new, beautiful things for us to enjoy, and we’d hate to see those plans derailed because Steve Wynn can’t keep his towel on or grasp that “no” means “no.”

We suspect some of the announced Wynn Resorts projects will be delayed, while others are likely to be halted, as this trainwreck works itself out.

Wynn letter

Update (1/28/18): The precise moment you realize you’ve sold your soul. Thanks to Rebecca Ballhaus at the Wall Street Journal for the photo.

The Steve Wynn sexual misbehavior scandal has set in motion forces that will change Las Vegas forever, and ultimately for the better. As long as you’re not Steve Wynn.

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30 thoughts on “Casino Mogul Steve Wynn Slammed With Sexual Misconduct Allegations

  1. JeffinOKC

    It seems to me that Wynn has a history of retreating to Nevada when his American expansion plans are challenged (Atlantic City, Indiana, etc.) and I think he will hunker down in Las Vegas until this passes. He does rule in Nevada, and Macau doesn’t care, IMO (I’m guessing in their eyes this is an American problem).

    But…Boston. That is a problem. In too deep to cut and run. I’m gonna throw out the crazy theory that he will get someone like Gary Loveman to helm all the Boston business. A person well known and connected to the area with a clean reputation.

    Reply
    1. Falcon Falcone

      Casino opponents are looking for any reason to shut this idea down in Massachusetts. This is the perfect opportunity to do so.

      Reply
    2. wysiwyg100

      It’s hard to rank all the reasons why Wynn will be forced to step down, but this one is near the top: to save the Boston project.

      Reply
      1. double.down.now

        Agreed. I would also add for future convention business which is where the money is nowadays and probably well into the future.

        Reply
  2. Manybar Goatfish

    It should be easy to grasp, by now, the zero-tolerance rule concerning workplace creeps and their creepiness. I’m guessing it won’t matter to a lot of fools until their foolish actions do them in, too. Never appreciating the absolute value of zero — until they do.

    Also, it’s more than a little troubling that we so willingly turn a blind eye to such despicable conduct, while–at the very same time–praising the jackass for his fine character and conscience. WTF.

    Reply
  3. Funkhouser

    The generation of men who came of age in the 50’s and 60’s, boys will be boys mentality is over. We are seeing a cultural movement now where no right minded person will accept unwanted sexual advances by employers, men or women in positions of authority, or even your everyday creepy person as allowed behavior. Anyone in authority today with past transgressions better keep a low profile or hang it up and move on. I don’t see how the The Steve weathers this and remains CEO. I fully expect him to go the route of a back room consultant who no longer has any outward customer facing role. The question is will The Steve lie down?

    Reply
  4. VegasSlushy

    Not being a wealthy person of power, I’ll never understand it.

    I suppose it’s like trying to understand why one guy loves chicken parm, sings its praises, goes apeshit for it, and another guy couldn’t care less if he never samples chicken parm again. You just can’t understand it. That’s just how it is.

    To that end, I’ve never understood why men with great prominence,.wealth and/or power feel the need to force women into sexual situations the women don’t want to be in.

    When you have wealth and power, you have your choice of women that will fulfill your needs and desires, no matter how batshit crazy. It is said that for the men who abuse the power, it’s about control blah blah blah, not access to sex. That’s what I don’t understand.

    I get if you’re a prominent person in politics or entertainment and that beautiful, lovely 23-year-old is the embodiment of every happily-ever-after dream you’ve had, but you’re married and in your 50s. That sucks. That sucks a lot. But how do so many men decide that when they can’t have that cute little 23-year-old for a little side action do they decide that forcing her into an unwanted situation, or jeopardizing her career, makes sense?

    When you could leave a trail of heartbroken, discarded women who find you attractive because of your wallet, why would you consider forcing a manicurist working for your corporation to become a victim?

    Or do I not understand how the American male works?

    Reply
  5. 60gregma .

    So it seems that everyone thinks Steve is no longer fit to run his company. Yet Donald Trump. who has a similar track record, can continue to ru(i)n our country!

    Reply
    1. Photoncounter

      The attorney Gloria Allred had to pay 17 women to come forward to make allegations against President Trump. Now, if you were offered $100K or more, with no recriminations, would you do the same?

      Whether it’s Weinstein, Wynn, Copperfield or whoever, no one’s career should be destroyed based on rumors. We have a legal system, let it work. If they are indeed found guilty or admit to it, let them be punished. Sexual harassment is awful. But to assume 100% of every allegation is true isn’t fair to the accused.

      My 401K is up 63% in the past year, my taxes are going up a bit but for the vast majority they are going down. Black unemployment is at historic lows and the biggest issue to come will be a worse skilled labor shortage. What a way to ru(I)n a country…

      Reply
      1. Manybar Goatfish

        What do you mean 401k? Max contribution limit for a 401k is $24k a year last time I checked. I thought you were a CEO/Scientist/Tycoon knocking down hundreds of thousands, if not millions a year. Now you tell us you’re just a 401k rube like the rest of us? I would never have guessed that in a million years. I don’t know about you, but whenever I get exposed for being poor, I always go straight to the student loan debt excuse which 1) tricks people into thinking I have a little college under my belt, and 2) it lightens up the “lazy” stigma. “Heck no, I’m not poor and lazy, I’m educated and buried in student loan debt.” I’ve been using that one for decades.

        Reply
        1. Photoncounter

          Max contribution for 2017 was $18K, it rises to $18.5K this year. Companies can choose to match up to 100%. We match 50% up to a certain limit. Even Executives have to retire, Social Security was never intended to be a retirement plan, just a way to keep a few people from falling through the cracks. I will need something to pay off the Vega’s title loan.

          Buy low, sell high, watch out for the bubble prick. If managed well 401K and Union Pension funds have returned amazing results over the past year as the economy has improved. It may not continue and it’s all fiat (only the reputation of the USA backs up the dollar, not gold or silver) anyway.

          Millions? Look up the average compensation for a small company CEO. Then learn about standard deviations. Quite a spread.

          Reply
      2. Funkhouser

        Photoncounter, unfortunately the system is tilted in favor of people who can get the best legal case money can buy. In other words those in power have far more resources to impede, block, and harass people who have been sexually harassed. Not to mention the likelihood of retaliation in some form for reporting it. Lawyers know if you delay, file excessive document requests, etc, etc. You quickly make it un-affordable for people who have been wronged fair access to due process. I understand there should be a fair burden of prove to avoid smearing someones reputation, but I believe in the WYNN case there is some documented history and more than one person with no financial interest in the case who can collaborate the accusations.

        Reply
  6. John

    It’s not April 1st so when I read Maurice Wooden’s letter I assumed it was a Scott spoof along the lines of Skyvue.

    When I realized the letter was for real I was amazed at the incredible stupidity of whoever wrote and published the letter. At the very least the letter adds fuel to a dumpster fire and at its worst provides legal ammunition to hurt the Wynn company.

    This is probably the tip of the iceberg, it’s not going to end soon or pretty and Wooden’s letter is going to come back to haunt the Wynn company. I would guess Elaine Wynn is very happy.

    Reply
  7. Falcon Falcone

    I can never justify this kind of behavior, and like others have commented, I can’t understand it. Either way, I still think due process should play out and see how guilty Mr Wynn is. The court of public opinion shouldnt ruin a career, but at the same time, predators should be exposed if guilty. With high profile guys like this, you follow the money. Paying people off seems to have been the route to silence your victims, and we’ll see what turns up.

    Reply
  8. Vegas Todd

    I bought the book Running Scared a few years back at the McCarran Airport Hudson Newsstand on my way home from a ”business trip”, and apparently Wynn has been harassing women employees for years.

    Reply
  9. Mako10

    So its been known for YEARS (decades?) that he’s a creep yet no one said anything? in the age of blogs/internet gossip/youtube, someone has to have the balls to come out and spill all of this stuff.

    Reminds me of Weinstein and all the hypocrites in hollywood, everyone knew but no one said anything because they were getting rich off of/from him.

    Reply

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