Nevada Court Rule Gaming Control Board Cannot Punish Former Casino Boss Steve Wynn

The Gaming Control Board and the state Gaming Commission cannot discipline or fine Steve Wynn. This is according to a Nevada court judge ruling saying that the former casino boss had no ties to Nevada’s gaming industry. However, the state’s Gaming Control Board is set to announce its decision on what steps to take against Steve Wynn. The regulator can even petition the ruling to Nevada Supreme Court.

The ruling comes after a year since the gaming control board filed a series of five complaints via the state Attorney General office. The file suggested that the gaming control board had jurisdiction over Steve even though he was no longer part of Nevada’s gambling industry. Mr. Wynn had quit his casino empire, Wynn Resorts, in February 2018, a casino he built himself. His action was after a bombshell report by the Wall Street Journal that was published in January 2018, revealing that Wynn was involved in sexual misconduct for a long while.

In the report, Mr. Wynn had for years subjected female employees at the Wynn Resorts to unwanted sexual advances. The businessman had even coerced some women into performing sexual acts on him. The disgracing allegations made Steve step down as CEO and Chairman of the Wynn Resorts. He also offloaded his stake in the company in March 2018, removing himself from Nevada’s gambling industry.

The report of the WSJ triggered multiple lawsuits plus other troubles for the casino billionaire. The recent win against the Nevada Gaming Commission is one of Mr. Wynn’s rare wins in the sexual harassment scandal. Even though it is not yet over since Wynn has to deal with other ensuing lawsuits and gaming commission issues, he can take a breather.

Mr. Wynn Has No Interest to Return in Nevada’ Gambling Industry

One of the defenses used to let Mr. Wynn out of the hook is his disinterest to reenter the Nevada gambling industry. Wynn’s attorneys, Don Campbell and Colby Williams, did not comment on the recent ruling. The two represented the disgraced casino tycoon and argued to the state’s Gaming Commission that the regulators had no right over Wynn. For starters, Mr. Steve was no longer living in Nevada. Secondly, the businessman has no intention of returning to the casino industry in Nevada.

Late last year, the state’s Gaming Commission complained that Wynn didn’t attend the hearing and that it considered fining him up to $500,000. The commission also said it was set to declare him unfit to be part of Nevada’s gaming industry. The businessman’s lawyers said he was not licensed when he quit Wynn Resorts in 2018. The lawyers also said that Wynn had stripped himself from his stake at the company.

Although the commission didn’t charge Wynn, it fined Wynn Resorts $20 million for failing to scrutinize Wynn for the allegations made against him. The company was also fined with $35 million in Massachusetts. It would have also lost its license to operate in Massachusetts before opening another $2.6 billion casino resort near Boston in June 2019. However, the Massachusetts gaming commission deemed the company fit to run a gambling facility in the state.

Rebecca Kont
Rebecca Kont

Rebecca lives in Las Vegas and after completing her degree at Reynolds Journalism school joined the USGS team to pursue her journalism dreams.