Report cites significant, repetitive ‘failures’ at Wynn Resorts
Gaming Commission says Steve Wynn party to six settlements
WYNN RESORTS maintained a culture of cover-up when it came to allegations of sexual misconduct against the company’s founder, according to an extensive report compiled by Massachusetts gambling regulators.
The report, which was provided to the news media on Tuesday ahead of a multi-day hearing into the company’s actions, provides a window into Steve Wynn’s response to allegations of rape and of how company executives handled those and other charges. The result of the adjudicatory hearing before the Massachusetts Gaming Commission will determine whether Wynn Resorts is suitable and can open its nearly completed Everett casino in June as planned.
Wynn Resorts leadership has changed dramatically since Steve Wynn resigned and sold his shares in the company last year after the allegations came to light. Of the 11 people who needed to qualify as suitable during the Gaming Commission’s initial 2013 investigation into the company, only the current CEO, Matthew Maddox, and Wynn’s ex-wife, Elaine Wynn, are still considered officials who must pass muster with the agency.
“The significant changes in leadership, policies, structure, and internal controls at the company do not erase the fact that the corporate failures revealed in this investigation are significant, repetitive, and reflective of the Company’s historical governance practices,” the report said.
The report includes excerpts from an October 2017 deposition – months before the Journal story – where Steve Wynn was questioned about allegations that he had raped a manicurist in his office. Wynn denied the charge even though he made a $7.5 million settlement with the manicurist. In somewhat flippant terms, Wynn in that deposition describes his version of events that the manicurist initiated sex with him and then extorted him.Wynn told a different story to Elaine Wynn in 2009 when they were in the midst of proceedings related to their second divorce, according to what the former casino mogul’s ex-wife told investigators. At that time, he denied any type of sex occurred.
“He claims that nothing happened, that the only thing that happened, he was foolish enough to be alone with this manicurist in his office area, getting a manicure with no staff around to observe and be a witness to the nothing that happened,” Elaine Wynn told investigators of her April 2009 conversation with Steve Wynn.