Steve Wynn's Departure Could Ease Pressure on Macau Scrutiny

Posted February 15, 2018

Wynn resorts marketplace value dipped more than 18% since the allegations were first publicized. Although still denying the allegations, Wynn has announced his resignation from his position as CEO and Chairman of Wynn Resorts.

Boone Wayson, a non-executive director for Wynn Resorts Limited, used yesterday's official statement to describe Wynn as "an industry giant" that had "created modern Las Vegas" before explaining that the company had accepted Wynn's resignation "with a collective heavy heart". The article also revealed that Wynn paid a manicurist a $7.5 million settlement after allegedly pressuring her to take off her clothes, lie on his massage table, and have sex with him.

Wynn has called the allegations "preposterous" and has said that they are schemes by his ex-wife, Elaine Wynn. The company will continue to fully focus on its operations at Wynn Macau, Wynn Palace and Wynn Las Vegas; the development and opening of the first phase of Wynn Paradise Park, now under construction on the former Wynn golf course; as well as the construction of Wynn Boston Harbor, which will open in June 2019.

Rick Velotta, welcome to the NewsHour.

"Details of Mr. Wynn's separation agreement will be disclosed when they are finalized", the company said in its press release announcing the leadership change.

Wynn himself also spoke of this hard decision to leave his most personally-gratifying business venture, revealing that "in the last couple of weeks, I have found myself the focus of an avalanche of negative publicity".

Mena native Matthew Maddox has worked for Wynn Resorts Ltd. since 2002, eventually serving as chief financial officer and president.

"There's still concerns about whether Steve Wynn has control, stock ownership, and those types of things". A Wynn Resorts shareholder has also filed a lawsuit against Wynn and the company's board of directors for allowing the misconduct to happen. "I have reached the conclusion I can not continue to be effective in my current roles", he said in a statement.

He also faces investigations by gambling regulators in two states - including MA, where the company is building a massive casino in Everett. "Therefore, effective immediately, I have made a decision to step down as CEO and Chairman of the Board of Wynn Resorts, a company I founded and that I love". The scandal - which has drawn scrutiny from regulators in the USA and Macau - complicated Wynn's status in the former Portuguese enclave that generates the bulk of Las Vegas-based Wynn Resorts' profits.

Wynn's two Macau casinos include the older Wynn Macau near the former Portuguese colony's historic old town, and the Wynn Palace, which in 2016 became the latest opulent resort to open in the new district of Cotai, joining lavish developments by rivals including Las Vegas Sands.