Nevada’s Gaming Commission could potentially see ex-casino mogul Steve Wynn appear before them in a hearing on December 19. The former boss of the prodigious Wynn Resorts International was convicted of several accounts of sexual misconduct earlier in the year.
Back in October, he looked to the Gaming Control Board in hopes of revoking a further complaint made against him for 5 cases of sexual harassment involving former female employees. The board pointed out that his efforts to have the complaints dismissed were legally flawed, and reminded him that they still carry full jurisdiction over matters associated with Wynn Resorts.
Despite clear and obvious violations of state licensing and regulatory practices, plus continuous denial of allegations and claims made against him in the last 22 months – Mr. Wynn will now have until December 9 to act on the Control Board’s response, which is likely to lead to a hearing before Nevada’s Gaming Commission later in the month.
More Fines and Allegations
The 13-page complaint also asked the Commission to enforce an additional penalty on Steve Wynn, of which detailed how the board has the right to make recommendations to the commission that a finding of suitability be revoked, and how they have “full and absolute power” through Nevada statutes and public policy.
The former CEO and owner then challenged this by attempting to dismiss the complaint. Even though the commission filed for a petition to have him banned from the industry in October, Wynn stated how he no longer has ties associated with any Nevada gaming license; therefore, doesn’t pose any current threats to the public or gambling industry.
“There is no language in the Gaming Control Act that even hints that the board’s investigatory and disciplinary powers are dependent on a person’s current nexus with a gaming licensee,” the filing says. “The act does allow for the ‘surrender’ of a gaming license, but spells out mandatory procedures for the effective surrender of that license. A surrender is not effective until this commission accepts it. Even after surrender of a license, the former licensee remains liable for penalties, fines, fees, taxes or interest due.”
Tipping off the Victims
The filing also emphasized on the fact that Steve Wynn had repeatedly violated the company’s own policies through nondisclosure agreements and by paying off his accusers in a bid to keep them quiet while the board carried out investigations earlier in the year.
“Wynn seems to argue that he can unilaterally cut off this commission’s subject matter jurisdiction by leaving Wynn Resorts, but no section of the Gaming Control Act supports his premise,” the filing said. “Indeed, an analogous provision is to the contrary — a licensee’s surrender of his license is only effective when the commission accepts it.”
Wynn’s attorneys were not available for comment on Wednesday, but they were able to sign off a stipulated date for receiving Steve Wynn’s reply to the board’s latest claims, as well as a hearing to be held in front of the commission next month.
Partners in Crime
Wynn’s ex-wife, Elaine, has also been interrogated by the regulators in the last few weeks, after the commission recently began interviewing “witnesses” regarding events that took place from 2009. It was that year when Elaine came to hear about a $7.5m payment her former husband had settled, following accusations of rape from a female member of staff.
Even though Elaine was working her duties as a director of the company at the time, she failed to report her knowledge of Steve Wynn’s secret settlement, according to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, which fined Wynn Resorts $35m in April.
The pair were in a long and fruitful marriage since 1963, until Elaine filed for a divorce in 2010. She helped co-found Wynn Resorts in 2002 and remains the company’s largest individual shareholder worth approximately $1.15 billion dollars.
Elaine has not yet provided any comments on the latest story, but she argued that she did in fact report her husband’s 2005 settlement to the general counsel when it first came to light.
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