The Nevada Gaming Control Board has issued a scathing rebuke of Steve Wynn (pictured in a file photo), in rejecting the deposed entrepreneur’s claim that the U.S. state’s regulatory system had no jurisdiction over him since he had already quit the casino industry following multiple allegations of sexual misconduct. He has denied wrongdoing.
An October complaint filed by the Nevada Gaming Control Board, lodged with the Nevada Gaming Commission, said Mr Wynn – founder and former chairman of casino group Wynn Resorts Ltd – faced the possibility of a fine as well as the loss of his “suitability” status and therefore his gaming licence.
Wynn Resorts is the parent of Macau gaming licensee Wynn Macau Ltd.
In a response carrying Wednesday’s date – to Mr Wynn’s motion to dismiss – the Nevada Gaming Control Board stated the businessman “could no longer avoid scrutiny for his actions”.
It added: “Wynn in his motion touts his ‘45-plus-year tenure as a gaming licensee’ without the Board having ever brought disciplinary action against him.
“Far from being blameless, Wynn thwarted discovery and investigation of his conduct through non-disclosure agreements and personal funds.”
The body added: “Wynn cannot avoid the Nevada Gaming Commission’s disciplinary power through his latest legal machination. This Commission has subject-matter jurisdiction.”
To accept Mr Wynn’s argument that severing his ties with Wynn Resorts brought matters to an end “would allow persons such as Wynn to frustrate this Commission’s subject-matter jurisdiction by severing employment ties prior to revocation proceedings.”
The Board added in its response: “The absurd result that would flow from such an interpretation evidences the vacuity of this argument.”
It further noted: “The legislature’s definition of suitability has no nexus to the person’s temporal connection to a particular licensee.”
A reply from Mr Wynn to the Board’s latest response would be required by December 9, with a hearing on the complaint matters 10 days later, on December 19.
In February this year the Nevada Gaming Commission fined Wynn Resorts US$20 million over the sex misconduct matters and the way those issues had been handled internally by the company. A supporting report at the time by the Nevada Gaming Commission said that Mr Wynn had reached in 2005 a “private, confidential settlement” with a person referred to as “Employee 1”, in which she and her husband were paid US$7.5 million through a separate legal entity funded personally by Mr Wynn.
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