Nevada gaming officials propose fine for Wynn Resorts

Under settlement, company’s licenses would not be affected

NEVADA GAMING OFFICIALS released a complaint against Wynn Resorts on Monday identifying at least seven instances where employees were either raped, forced into sexual relationships, or sexually harassed by Steve Wynn between 2005 and 2014 and another situation where an employee facilitated sex between cocktail servers and Steve Wynn and his guests.

In two of the instances, Steve Wynn paid settlements to his victims. A salon worker who alleged Steve Wynn raped and impregnated her received a $7.5 million settlement in 2005. A cocktail server who alleged Steve Wynn pressured her into nonconsensual sexual relationship from 2005 through 2006 received a $975,000 settlement.

According to the complaint, all of the incidents violated company policies and in most cases were brought to the attention of top-ranking Wynn Resorts employees, who failed to act on them. All of the named employees who took no action on the incidents are no longer with the company.

The complaint, which was prepared by the Nevada Gaming Control Board, recommended to the Nevada Gaming Commission that Wynn Resorts pay a fine and also receive some sort of disciplinary action in regard to its casino license in Nevada. A proposed settlement negotiated with Wynn Resorts, however, calls only for a fine. The complaint and the proposed settlement were both dated Friday, January 25.

The Nevada action on the Wynn Resorts license to operate in that state comes at a time when the Massachusetts Gaming Commission is trying to decide whether to allow the casino company to retain its license for a $2.6 billion casino scheduled to open in Everett in June. The Massachusetts investigation is on hold amid a legal fight over documents used in the investigation that Steve Wynn claims violate his attorney-client privilege.

Steve Wynn resigned from Wynn Resorts on February 6, 2018, following a devastating story in the Wall Street Journal on January 26, 2018, alleging the $7.5 million payment and years of sexual misconduct. Steve Wynn was subsequently followed out the door by a long list of executives who the complaint alleges became aware of the allegations against Steve Wynn but did little or nothing to respond to them in violation of company policies.

The list includes Kim Sinatra, the former senior vice president and former general counsel, who became aware of the $7.5 million settlement seven years after the fact in January 2012. She also learned of allegations made in 2016 by a flight attendant working for an air service subsidiary of the company who alleged that Steve Wynn sexually harassed a number of airline attendants.

Other executives identified by the commission for failing to act on issues involving Steve Wynn included Marc Schorr, a former Wynn president; Doreen Whennen, a former vice president of hotel operations; Arte Nathan, the former senior vice president and chief human resources officer, Kevin Tourek, a former general counsel, and Stacie Michaels, a former general counsel.

Maurice Wooden, a former Wynn president, was accused along with Tourek in 2005 of learning of allegations of sexual misconduct by Steve Wynn with a woman who had worked as a cocktail server and flight attendant.

The settlement agreement said Wynn Resorts agreed to pay a fine and admitted to each and every allegation in the complaint except the allegation regarding Wooden and the claim that Sinatra and Michaels were aware of the 2016 allegations by a flight attendant that a number of her colleagues had been harassed by Steve Wynn.

Meet the Author

Bruce Mohl

Editor, CommonWealth

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

Wynn Resorts called the completion of the Nevada investigation “an important remedial step.” In a statement, the company said “we have fully cooperated and been transparent with the board in this in-depth investigation.” The company said any employee mentioned in the report as being aware of allegations of sexual assault against Steve Wynn and did not investigate it or report it is no longer with the company.

The one top official at Wynn Resorts who has not been tainted by the sexual misconduct allegations against Steve Wynn is Matt Maddox, who was the heir apparent to Wynn and took over as president and CEO when he left the company.