Investigation Wraps, Wynn Resorts Faces Record-Breaking Double Digit Fine

Written By Marc Meltzer on March 4, 2019

Wynn Resorts was fined a record $20 million by the Nevada Gaming Commission. This massive penalty was doled out to the international casino operator as a settlement for repeatedly failing to investigate claims of sexual misconduct made against former CEO Steve Wynn.

Steve Wynn resigned as the CEO of casino company he founded after a bombshell report from the Wall Street Journal alleging dozens of cases of sexual misconduct. This settlement is the end of a year-long investigation of those allegations.

While Steve Wynn was the reason for the $20 million fine, he wasn’t personally part of this investigation and settlement. The Nevada Gaming Control Board has not indicated whether or not Wynn is being investigated individually. He won’t be doing business in the near future as his gaming license is on hold.

In a statement, Wynn Resorts said “We are pleased that the Nevada Gaming Commission has recognized the company’s transformation and ‘refreshed culture’ over the course of the last twelve months and acknowledged the ‘paradigm shift’ that has occurred within the company.”

Wynn Resorts is moving forward

The statement continued, “The completion of the review by Nevada regulators is an important step forward, and we deeply appreciate the trust and confidence they have placed in the new leadership of Wynn Resorts to ‘grow and prosper.’”

Wynn Resorts will keep its Nevada gaming license as part of the settlement with the Nevada Gaming Commission.

Over the past year, Wynn Resorts has shed much of the old regime that was responsible for not reporting the allegations against Mr. Wynn. There are nine new board members and a new CEO at Wynn Resorts. Four of those new board members are women. None of the current executives will receive a fine personally.

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Wynn Las Vegas hasn’t seen much of a negative impact

Since the allegations, guests haven’t seen a dropoff in the traditional high-quality experience at Wynn Las Vegas and Encore. The casino-resort continues to do business as usual. After a brief slowdown after the allegations, customers returned to Wynn Las Vegas as if nothing happened.

According to Wynn Resorts’ annual earnings report, Wynn Las Vegas occupancy was 87.5 percent in 2018. That’s an increase from 86.9 percent in 2017. Due to the continued high demand, room rates also rose from $303 in 2017 to $314 in 2018. Gaming revenue in the Wynn and Encore casinos also slightly increased.

The Wynn Plaza retail mall opened in November after a short delay. Late last year, current CEO Matt Maddox announced that Wynn Resorts will be slowing further expansion plans in Las Vegas. The new convention center and remodeled golf course are still on schedule to open in early 2020. Everything else is on hold.

The 38-acre plot of land they own across Las Vegas Boulevard will remain dormant for a couple of years. It will take two years to come up with a plan for the new property. Unless they decide to sell land there shouldn’t be an update on a new project until 2021.

The current thought is that the new hotel-casino will be different than the current Wynn and Encore towers. They want the new property to offer something more than just more slots, restaurants, and shopping.

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Marc Meltzer

Marc grew up on the mean streets of the South Bronx. He’s the rare combination of Yankees and Jets fan which explains his often contrarian point of view. Marc is a freelance writer and social media consultant. Writing about steak, booze, gambling and Las Vegas is a tough job but somebody has to do it.

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