Las Vegas casino boss Steve Wynn is facing multiple allegations of sexual misconduct at his hotel and casino properties, the Wall Street Journal revealed in a detailed report from Friday. Talking to media, Mr. Wynn dismissed the accusations as “preposterous” and as ones engineered by former spouse Elaine Wynn, who is looking to upend her litigation against him and his casino business Wynn Resorts.
Dozens of former and current Wynn employees have stepped forward to accuse their boss of creating a “sexualized workplace” and working environment that was particularly hostile to women, the Wall Street Journal found out after conducting multiple interviews with staff members. According to the outlet’s report, a number of women were subjected to unwanted sexual advances from Mr. Wynn, and were even pressured into performing sex acts with their boss.
In one of the cases detailed in the Wall Street Journal report, a former manicurist at the Wynn Las Vegas resort had accused Mr. Wynn of forcing her to have sex with him in his office back in 2005. Reportedly, the casino mogul had to pay a $7.5-million settlement to his former employee to keep the incident from spreading in the media.
Mr. Wynn, who turns 76 today, is the founder, chairman, and CEO of Wynn Resorts, a major player on the global casino scene. The company currently operates casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip and Macau, and is building a $2.4-plus-billion resort in the Greater Boston area in Massachusetts.
The casino boss is also a major Republican Party donor. Following the inauguration of Donald Trump as President of the United States in 2017, Mr. Wynn was appointed as Finance Chairman of the Republican National Committee. President Trump called his former business rival “a great friend” during his Presidential campaign in 2016.
The Republican Party is yet to comment on the sexual misconduct allegations against Mr. Wynn and his future in the party. However, the emerging stories could cost him his role at the GOP’s National Committee.
The Board of Wynn Resorts seemed to take Mr. Wynn’s side immediately after the publication of Wall Street Journal’s story, saying that the allegations might have come from the businessman’s ex-wife, who is suing him and the company in a bid to regain her stake in Wynn Resorts. Mrs. Wynn has argued in court that her former spouse had been the mastermind behind her ouster from the Board of the casino operator after their second divorce in 2010.
Later on Friday, Board members announced that a special investigation panel of independent investigators has been formed to look into the matter. The panel is chaired by Patricia Mulroy, a former Nevada Gaming Commission member and current member of Wynn Resorts’ Board committees on corporate governance and compliance.
In a statement, the Board said that it is “deeply committed to ensuring the safety and well-being” of the company’s staff members.
The allegations against Mr. Wynn appeared as the latest of a wave of sexual misconduct and abuse stories involving powerful men from the film and entertainment industries as well as high-rank politicians.
MassGaming Opens Investigation
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission announced on Friday that it was opening a review into the sexual misconduct allegations against Mr. Wynn. The businessman and his company won the attractive casino license for the Greater Boston area in 2013, and is currently building a $2.4-billion resort along the Mystic River in Everett. The property is expected to be completed and launched next summer.
MassGaming said on Friday that its investigations and enforcement bureau will review the matter in order to assess and determine its next steps in relation to Wynn Resorts’ involvement in the state’s commercial casino industry. The Commission went on to say that the “suitability and integrity” of each of its licensees was of the utmost importance.
A spokesperson for Massachusetts’ Republican Governor Charlie Baker told media that the official was “deeply disturbed” by the allegations and that he expected they were taken seriously.
Robert Johnson is an experienced web author and blogger. He has over three years of experience as a freelance journalist and writer.