Steve Wynn Steps Down Following Flood of Sexual Harassment Claims

Can someone simultaneously be a visionary casino mogul and unrepentant sexual predator?You bet your ass.

Steve Wynn has stepped down as CEO and Chairman of the Board of Wynn Resorts following a flood of sexual harassment allegations.

Wynn’s tumultuous fall from grace was sparked by a story in the Wall Street Journal on Jan. 27, 2018.

Steve Wynn

He did it his way. Which, upon reflection, wasn’t the way.

The Wall Street Journal story barely scratched the surface of decades of bad behavior considered an open secret to those who have worked with, and for, Steve Wynn.

Steve Wynn’s resignation was seen as inevitable by many.

There’s a lot that’s sad about this story. Primarily, it’s sad myriad women have had to endure mistreatment by Steve Wynn and others in a culture he fostered. The system failed, and it took a tectonic shift in our culture to finally hold Steve Wynn accountable for his misdeeds.

It’s sad this story had to be published by a national newspaper, rather than the Las Vegas Review-Journal or another local publication, especially when Wynn’s sexual misbehavior was common knowledge for years.

It’s also sad so many employees will be harmed by Wynn’s seeming inability to grasp he’s done anything wrong.

Wynn’s tone-deaf statement about the resignation is telling.

“In the last couple of weeks, I have found myself the focus of an avalanche of negative publicity,” says Wynn.

You didn’t find yourself anything, Mr. Wynn. You caused this. You’re not a victim. The victims are victims. You’re not a victim of the media or even your ex-wife. You did despicable things. For decades.

Steve Wynn chip

We are barely making this up.

Wynn continues, “As I have reflected upon the environment this has created, one in which a rush to judgment takes precedence over everything else, including the facts, I have reached the conclusion I cannot continue to be effective in my current roles.”

Sorry, but you just went from delusional egomanic to full-blown sleazeball, Mr. Wynn.

Women are standing up for themselves. Powerful, wealthy men don’t get to abuse women anymore. That’s not an “environment,” it’s not hysteria and no one’s rushing to judgment. They’re holding you responsible for your actions. They’re finally getting some semblance of justice, and you can’t buy or spin your way out of this.

Steve Wynn obviously has a metric hell-ton more reflecting to do.

Here’s our favorite part of the statement: “Therefore, effective immediately, I have decided to step down as CEO and Chairman of the Board of Wynn Resorts, a company I founded and that I love.”

We’ll let the “love” thing slide, despite the fact your sexual harassment claims have cost the company you love billions in market value, Mr. Wynn.

Wynn Resorts stock is down about 18% since the sexual harassment allegations broke, or a loss of market value approaching $4 billion.

The rest of the statement touts how great Wynn Resorts is. Nobody’s denying that. It’s just not relevant.

Tacos El Gordo

“We’re not with him.” ~Tacos El Gordo

It does get creepy when Wynn says, “Most of all, I am proud of our employees.”

Which employees are those? The ones you forced to have sex, Mr. Wynn? Maybe “proud” isn’t the right word for those particular employees. Thankful, perhaps. Thankful they allowed you to bully them into silence. Or thankful they accepted your money to go away. (Wynn admitted to paying a $7.5 million settlement to a manicurist who claimed he coerced her into having sex. There was also a paternity claim involved.)

The statement goes on to say Matt Maddox will take over the position of CEO of Wynn Resorts. Maddox currently serves as the President of Wynn Resorts, and has been described as a “trusted confidant.” What could possibly go wrong?

The tricky part of any succession plan, of course, is that everyone at Wynn Resorts knew about the long history of sexual harassment allegations against Steve Wynn. Virtually everyone turned a blind eye. Everyone.

Another unpleasant reality of Wynn’s resignation is it may be an excuse for regulatory agencies and the Wynn Resorts board to discontinue their investigations into his behavior. This lets those who were complicit off the hook.

Wynn Las Vegas

We look forward to a time when this company gets back to making pretty things.

For now, though, the victims of Steve Wynn can take some consolation in the fact he’s out.

Wynn is working his way through the sex scandal playbook, and as reality begins to sink in, we’ll soon see him embark on what’s known as an “Apology Tour” where he acknowledges what he did and feigns contrition because he desperately wants to try and salvage his legacy.

Or he’ll just keep blaming his downfall on an unfair media and an ugly divorce.

Steve Wynn’s resignation slaps a giant question mark on several announced projects in Las Vegas, including Wynn Paradise Park and Wynn West, a resort planned for the abandoned Alon site.

Wynn’s departure has an even greater impact than Las Vegas because of Wynn Resorts businesses in Macau (where Wynn Resorts makes most of its revenue) and Massachusetts (Wynn Boston Harbor was likely to have its plugged pulled as a result of the Wynn allegations).

The revelations about Steve Wynn, and his subsequent resignation, have shaken Las Vegas to its foundations. Wynn’s influence will be felt for as long as Las Vegas exists, even if you won’t be able to find his name on any of its hotels. Just give it time.

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102 thoughts on “Steve Wynn Steps Down Following Flood of Sexual Harassment Claims

  1. FYMYAWF

    Amazing. Long overdue and more than justified apparently, but what a blow this will be to his “empire”. How do you scrub Wynn’s name from the resorts that are essentially a huge brick and mortar cult of personality to this one guy?

    I don’t envy the new CEO or the board. What an amazing fall from power and grace and what a huge mess they will have to clean up.

    Reply
    1. Opinion

      Don’t know yet if it will get to the point of dropping the Wynn name but if they do, their Encore brand is a good name. I could see the Boston and Macau properties rebranded under it.

      Reply
      1. The Vegas Voice

        Boston. Where the reelected a Senator after he drowned his mistress… yea… Let’s talk about integrity!!

        Reply
  2. chewieb

    Just change a couple words in the opening line – “Can someone simultaneously be a visionary casino mogul and unrepentant murderer?” – and it could be the obituary 70 years ago of Las Vegas’ first larger-than-life character, Bugsy Siegel, rather than the epic downfall of its most recent.

    Reply
    1. Manybar Goatfish

      That Bugsy fella sounds like a “bad hombre.” The border wall is a little late? Missed it by a century or so, but who’s counting?

      Reply
    1. Tommy Vercetti

      Not hard at all,sorry to disappoint. I actually find a lot harder to belive to a bunch of gold diggers that out of the blue 30 years later decide to come up with this story right when the majority of the news in Vegas are owned by a zionist.

      Reply
  3. overloadinco

    It’s wonderful we now live in a place where people who live above the law can still receive justice. If even one allegation somewhere is true, it’s all worth it. No longer will the rich be able to avoid ruin just by settling court cases for a ton of cash.

    Reply
          1. Chris

            Are you obfuscating the intent of the Wynn board? The Wynn board took no action because no action is necessary, so good luck with that.

          2. Rocky Sullivan

            Ha! Dude, I think you are taking the word “resign” a bit too literally. There is no way Wynn quit voluntarily. That is a Boards #1 function…. oversight.

          3. Chris

            I believe you have been reduced to desperate speculation. Sorry about that. The reality is the Steve resigned. Everything else is desperate speculation. Glad I could point that out.

          4. Rocky Sullivan

            Why do you want to support this creep? Trust me, if there was a viable way for him to stay onboard he would have grabbed it. There wasn’t so he’s toast. The rest is semantics. Now here’s some speculation. If he kept his Ex on the board he probably would have continued to skate on by. Pushing her out of the boardroom turned out to be a fatal mistake.

          5. Chris

            Mr Wynn is a great man who saved Las Vegas when the city was reeling from decades of mafia corruption. A true visionary who big big and won decisively.

            All else is witch hunt and speculation. If you have proof, serve it up. Otherwise there are no victims to be seen here.

          6. Rocky Sullivan

            Well there is that one employee whom the company paid $7.5 million. Then of course there is the personal testimony of so far dozens of current and former employees complaining of horrendous treatment by Wynn. The Wall Street Journal has all the details if you have not read their reporting. Let me bottom line it for you: it’s all so bad the company was in danger of losing their gaming licensees. Starting in Massachusetts. That gaming commission is on the record stating that the omission of the $7.5 million dollar payment to that ex-employee from Wynn’s gaming license application was more than enough to pull their license. They may still lose it.

          7. Chris

            Horrendous treatment? Poor things. Still no victims.

            “there’s that one employee” – Innuendo. If there was a crime, why not go to the police?

            “The personal testimony that Steve is a meanie” – Awwww. I’m gonna cry.

            “Wall Street Journal has details” Details of what crime? Steve liked to bang chicks, that’s not a crime.

            Steve’s only crime was not having the sense to make these women sign sexual consent forms. You’ll have to forgive that, that’s not how things used to be.

          8. Scott Roeben

            We’re clearly not going to sway you Chris. Here’s an undeniable fact: Two out of three sexual assaults go unreported. I’d venture that number holds true in Las Vegas. People don’t report this behavior because they are intimidated into keeping quiet. These revelations aren’t new, and are not few. They have been known for decades. Being arrested and convicted is one measurement of guilt, true. Nobody’s condemning Steve Wynn for being a womanizer. He’s being held accountable for the things he did that were coercive. Nobody’s questioning whether there were many, many willing participants. He resigned because he knows what he did, and he knows what’s still to come.

          9. Scott Roeben

            Steve Wynn has done great things. That doesn’t make him a great man. He is a visionary, but a flawed one. Saying this is a “witch hunt” trivializes the seriousness of his actions. You keep saying “provide proof.” Many a conviction has happened based upon the testimony of one witness. Here, we have dozens of witnesses, and many, many others who have yet to step forward.

          10. Scott Roeben

            Excellent point, Rocky. That’s not speculation. Ego drove his Elaine decision, and it came back to bite him. I suspect the Weinstein era would’ve made this happen across Las Vegas, eventually, but her testimony accelerated the process.

          11. Scott Roeben

            Horseshit. They took no action because they failed to do their fiduciary duty. Women suffered because of it, and the company and its investors are suffering because of it. Everyone knew about his behavior, nobody had the courage to act.

  4. Tommy Vercetti

    Scott,the tone you’re using in this article is borderline ” guilty until proven guilty”. Honestly it’s sad. I’m done with this page,good luck

    Reply
      1. Mike L

        The problem is you’re not covering the real news. You should be asking questions like – who’s going to whisper talk for the hotel’s on-hold message now?

        Reply
      2. George Dixon

        he actually hasn’t been proven “guilty” of anything – so just the basic rules of decent journalism would dictate “alleged” etc… I agree the tone of this article is concerning.

        Reply
        1. Scott Roeben

          Even if no other allegations are true (they are), he paid someone $7.5 million for her silence. Bonus: Paternity claim. This isn’t a case of he said/she said. It’s a case of dozens of she saids, and one guy denying everything.

          Reply
          1. VegasSlushy

            Why are people acting like you’re a journalist? You know facts, you have opinions, you share both on a blog. When did you become a journalist?

          1. Chris

            If there’s a crime, call the police. If you don’t call the police then your credibility is suspect.

          2. Scott Roeben

            This is an under-informed opinion about the nature of sexual harassment in the workplace. In Las Vegas, if you even bring your complaint to Human Resources, you are punished and in all likelihood, you will not find similar work in Las Vegas.

  5. Mike L

    Consider this payback for all of those resort fees. Oh well, I guess it’s back to being just plain old man Weinberg from now on.

    Reply
      1. Manybar Goatfish

        I saw it more like a step towards trivializing the issue of sexual abuse. I’m not buying the “sarcasm” play. None of this is a joke that I find particularly funny.

        Reply
  6. Tommy Vercetti

    So,will his ugly wife dump him now ? She comes from a brothel-ish background in Monaco therefore she should be used to these things…

    Reply
    1. The Vegas Voice

      Yes, as he built an empire that gave them everything they could ask for… thinking they are like most other normal people in vegas ” this is news or a political witch hunt??” Considering what other Vegas casino CEO’s have done, it’s a witch hunt, not news

      Reply
      1. Lewmoore

        https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/witch%20hunt

        I’m assuming you’re going with the second definition of the phrase? So you are saying that Steve Wynn has been sought out for deliberate harassment for his unpopular views? Those views being that it is OK to coerce, force, demand, etc. sexual activity from employees? If other Vegas CEO’s have done the same (seems likely, I’ll grant you) I expect they will fall soon as well.

        Reply
      2. Vegas Todd

        Wrong. It’s not a ”which hunt”, unless you think that the trial of Dr. Nassar was a which hunt too.
        Maybe Steve Wynn should’ve just stayed the big shot casino owner instead of accepting the position of RNC finance chairman, just like someone should have stayed a TV reality show ”star” because once one dabbles into politics without knowing what they’re doing, they quickly find out that their past will BE their undoing.

        Reply
  7. The Vegas Voice

    Let’s not break our arm patting yourself on the back Scott. Your former employer paid millions for women who were assaulted by Celine’s husband and everyone looked the other way including the gaming board, who’s members are looking to Caesars to hire them after any ” investigation”….

    Reply
    1. Scott Roeben

      Which part did you think was back-patting, again? I hadn’t heard about issues with Celine’s husband, but I’ve been the one beating the drum that this whole Wynn episode isn’t just about Wynn…it’s about our culture, and especially the casino culture. It’s pervasive, and many, many people have contributed to the nature and longevity of the problem.

      Reply
      1. Photoncounter

        So, Scott, how do you square these events with another well known, violent rapist: William Jefferson Clinton? There are more than a handful of women that he beat and raped plus Arkansas State Police testimony backing them up yet he has skated all these years. If Steve Wynn is guilty based on accusations, and he probably is now that more has come out, there should be repercussions for not only him, Weinstein, over 100 others and our former, revered in any circles, President. Don’t you agree?

        Reply
          1. Photoncounter

            So now that we know that Scott is an enabler and apologizer for a well documented and violent rapist, and deleted my comment…

            I bid you all a farewell.

      2. Coop

        I have heard your drum. It is very refreshing to hear a Vegas insider speak against the Power Player Perv’s. We all love adult fun in Vegas but this is not adult fun. This is preying on vulnerable people because of your position.

        Reply
      3. Chris

        Scott, you are clearly ‘LOOKING THE OTHER WAY’ about Celine Dion’s husband. Not saying he paid you to keep quiet. No I am not.

        Reply
        1. Manybar Goatfish

          Fact: Steve Wynn resigned as RNC finance chairman.
          Fact: Steve Wynn resigned as chairman and chief executive of Wynn Resorts.
          Fact: #MeToo isn’t going away.

          Reply
          1. Chris

            Don’t care if it goes away, because at the end of the day it’s his word vs the complicit accused. Nearly every woman who comes out of the wordwork is an opportunist who chose to ‘bravely’ come forward when the political winds shift. They deserve no sympathy and when the time comes, they will receive no mercy. The courts deliberate facts, so this metoo nonsense is irrelevant mob mentality.

            If you’ve got proof, serve it up. This article is bitter and empty innuendo and speculation.

          2. Manybar Goatfish

            You begin by posting “we need to start deporting all feminists and feminist lawyers.” That is followed up by your subsequent comment that you don’t care if #MeToo goes away. How do you deport feminists and their lawyers but it’s okay if they don’t go away? Your arguments are a mess.

          3. Chris

            We can deport them and if we’re unable to do that, we can continue to mock the metoo bowel movement for the joke that it is.

          4. Manybar Goatfish

            If what you are outlining is the official blueprint for defending sexual abuse, it’s no wonder Steve Wynn threw in the towel in such short order. It’s all so crystal clear now.

          5. Manybar Goatfish

            Too bad there isn’t an ecology movement as strong as the MeToo movement. With the daily scrapping of emissions and conservation standards, we’ll soon be back in the 50’s without a time machine. Throw in some groping and America will be great again!

  8. PalateA

    $7.5 million cost his company billions. Hard price to pay for a little whoopie! Why not venture outside of your own beach! It’s sad truthfully as Steve Wynn is a Las Vegas visionary who shaped the Las Vegas strip into luxury and sophistication. Talk to the employees and how he would fire them at a drop of a dime is one detail was off. It created a culture of perfection and fear. It’s no wonder he would take advantage of them in the way of sexual misconduct. Steve Wynn has always been about Steve Wynn and now it has caught up to him. I commend him on his developments but dispise him for his stronghold of fear over his team.

    Reply

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