The general counsel at casino operator Wynn Resorts Ltd says all the C-level executives at the group are “committed” to ensuring any allegations of sexual harassment of employees can no longer escape scrutiny.
Ellen Whittemore, executive vice president (EVP), general counsel and secretary of the group, made the remarks in conversation with James Maida, chief executive of gaming testing consultancy Gaming Laboratories International LLC, as part of the latter firm’s “Illuminating Conversations” series.
Wynn Resorts is the parent firm of Macau casino operator Wynn Macau Ltd.
Ms Whittemore was referring to the allegations against Wynn Resorts founder and former chairman Steve Wynn. Mr Wynn left the group in February 2018, after multiple allegations of sexual harassment and assault made by female staff in the Las Vegas, Nevada operation (pictured). He has denied wrongdoing.
The Wynn Resorts general counsel nonetheless told Mr Maida: “This entire C-suite is committed to the changes that we had made as a result of the circumstances, so we are really committed to diversity and inclusion, and to preventing sexual harassment, and really… encouraging women in the workplace… and others.”
Ms Whittemore was appointed Wynn Resorts’ executive vice president and general counsel in July 2018. She had been linked to law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP in Las Vegas. She is known for her experience in gaming law and regulatory practice.
The structure of the Wynn Resorts board changed dramatically over the course of 2018, following the allegations of sexual harassment involving Mr Wynn. More than half of the directors that had been in place at the start of the year had departed the firm by the summer of 2018.
In her comments to Mr Maida, Ms Whittemore added: “In 2018, 2019, I was still in the process of ‘What are we going to do about this?’ [Now] we have a monitor who monitors responses to claims of sexual harassment.”
She noted that the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 brought a new dynamic to the protective role of the company: keeping customers and staff safe from health hazards, she said.
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