Scientific Game

Wynn Resorts founder Steve Wynn resigns as CEO after sexual misconduct allegations

Wednesday, 07 February 2018 13:43
Visit us

By Andrew W Scott

      - Current President Matt Maddox appointed new CEO
      - Company Director Boone Wayson appointed Chairman
      - Wynn made decision alone: “I cannot continue to be effective in my current roles”
      - Company name remains unchanged

Steve Wynn has resigned as CEO and Chairman of US-listed Wynn Resorts following sexual misconduct accusations published in The Wall Street Journal 11 days ago. Wynn, 76, has strenuously denied the allegations, calling them “preposterous.” In sourcing their story The Wall Street Journal contacted more than 150 current or former Wynn employees and claimed they approached every single one of the sources — none had reached out to the highly respected newspaper.

Regulators in Nevada, Massachusetts and Macau had taken the allegations seriously, mounting reviews alongside an internal investigation launched by Wynn Resorts’ own board.

Wynn’s demise is the greatest fall from grace to occur in the global gaming industry for many years. Wynn stepped down as Republican National Committee finance chair last month. Ivy League school the University of Pennsylvania revoked an honorary degree given to him — the first time such an action had occurred in over 100 years. But apparently these sanctions were not enough.

Bloomberg is reporting that Steve Wynn alone made the decision to step down.

The company has appointed current President Matt Maddox as its CEO effective immediately. Company board member Boone Wayson will take over as Chairman.

”It is with a collective heavy heart, that the board of directors of Wynn Resorts today accepted the resignation of our founder, CEO and friend Steve Wynn," Wayson said in a statement late Tuesday in the US.

“In the last couple of weeks, I have found myself the focus of an avalanche of negative publicity,” Wynn said. “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.” Wynn added he was resigning from “a company I founded and that I love.”

According to sources there are no plans to change the name of the casino company despite Wynn’s departure, and Wynn is still living at Wynn Resorts’ Las Vegas property in a rented villa.

Wynn Resorts shares have plummeted 19% since the allegations surfaced. Trading of Wynn Macau Limited was suspended several hours ago pending imminent announcements.

Just hours before the story of Mr Wynn’s resignation broke, IAG had been contacted by institutional investors speculating on the possibility of companies taking advantage of the turmoil to seek a piece of the lucrative Macau gaming industry. Mr Wynn controls 21% of Wynn Resorts through his own 12% holding and the 9% stake held by his twice-over ex-wife, Elaine Wynn. That 21% stake remains the largest controlled by a single shareholder, giving regulators cause to continue to examine whether he is a fit and proper person for the industry. However, it is hardly enough to stave off a corporate raid, and Elaine and Steve Wynn are currently embroiled in long-running court battle in which Elaine Wynn is seeking to regain voting control of her 9% stake.

Mr Wynn’s name could not be more associated with the casinos owned by Wynn Resorts and Wynn Macau Limited. They all bear his name, and his signature – emblazoned across the top of each building – is the company logo. Many industry commentators have expressed concern about how the casinos could operate without Mr Wynn as CEO. But clearly the allegations against him made his position impossible.

What's new

G2E Asia Awards: Meet the Judges – Alidad Tash

G2E Asia Awards: Meet the Judges – Alidad Tash Alidad Tash has been in the gaming industry since 2000, starting on the Las Vegas strip at the Venetian and continuing on to Macau 12 years ago. He was on the opening team at Venetian Macao, the first Cotai property, leading the analytics department. While there, he popularized the now-ubiquitous No... Monday, 23 April 2018 07:13

PhilWeb sees 1Q18 revenue surge 236%

PhilWeb sees 1Q18 revenue surge 236% Philippines gaming services provider PhilWeb Corporation has announced a 236.7% surge in revenue to Php87.8 million for the three months to 31 March 2018. The year-on-year boost follows the renewal of its license by PAGCOR last August after Gregorio Araneta III purchased a 53.75% stake in the compa... Monday, 23 April 2018 07:09

Galaxy’s Philippines partner still buying up Boracay land: report

Galaxy’s Philippines partner still buying up Boracay land: report Galaxy Entertainment Group’s Philippines partner, Leisure and Resorts World Corp (LRWC), is still buying land in Boracay despite recent claims by President Rodrigo Duterte that no new casinos would be built on the holiday island. According to a report by The Philippine Star, Municipal Executive A... Monday, 23 April 2018 07:01

Judiciary Police arrest one, clear junkets over cryptocurrency subscription scheme

Judiciary Police arrest one, clear junkets over cryptocurrency subscription scheme Macau’s Judiciary Police have detained a local man for his involvement in a cryptocurrency subscription allegedly being falsely promoted by Lantai Digital Application Technology. In a media briefing on Friday, a Judiciary Police spokesman confirmed that the man – a 37-year-old named only as Hon... Monday, 23 April 2018 06:25

Current Issue

G2E ASIA AWARDS to debut in 2018

G2E ASIA AWARDS to debut in 2018 Inside Asian Gaming and G2E Asia will co-organize the inaugural G2E Asia Awards in 2018 – the official awards of Asia’s biggest industry  trade show and exhibition, G2E Asia. In an exciting development for the Asian gaming industry, Inside Asian Gaming and G2E Asia announced in March that they... Wednesday, 04 April 2018 14:07

Indian Dreaming: Tiger Palace putting Nepal in the game

Indian Dreaming: Tiger Palace putting Nepal in the game By Ben Blaschke The first integrated resort to be built in South Asia, Tiger Palace Resort in Nepal’s lowland Terai plains sits just eight kilometers from the border with India’s most populous state Uttar Pradesh, home to some 215 million people. At US$52 million it also represents a fascinatin... Wednesday, 04 April 2018 14:12

Digital Danger

Digital Danger As the world becomes increasingly digital, the world’s casino operators are taking cyber security more seriously than ever before. But as leading risk mitigation company Kroll explains, risks remain – and not always where you might expect.  By Ben Blaschke AS cautionary tales go, the downfall... Wednesday, 04 April 2018 14:09

Gaming development outlook along the Belt and Road

Gaming development outlook along the Belt and Road Michael Zhu, SVP of International Planning and Analysis for The Innovation Group, delves into the benefits that Chinese President Xi Jinping’s “One Belt and One Road” initiative will bring to Asia’s gaming industry. By Michael Zhu PRIOR to the current recovery of Macau’s gaming malaise, ... Wednesday, 04 April 2018 14:08