Hotelier Steve Wynn resigns as CEO following sexual misconduct allegations

Ivan Schwartz
February 15, 2018

Steve Wynn created modern Las Vegas.

"It takes off the pressure as far as Macau is concerned", said Pedro Cortes, a senior partner with the Macau law firm Rato, Ling, Lei & Cortes.

Wynn has called the allegations "preposterous" and has said that they are schemes by his ex-wife, Elaine Wynn.

The board said Tuesday that it had appointed Matt Maddox, who now serves as president of Wynn Resorts, as its CEO.

Wynn stepped down as CEO and board chairman Tuesday evening, citing an "avalanche of negative publicity" that he claimed made it impossible to do his job.

In Wednesday's statement, the regulator reiterated that the Macau government requires major shareholders, directors and key employees of gaming concessionaires to be suitably qualified, and said that it will strictly enforce those rules.

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"Macau's regulator has emphasized it needs to make sure if the key persons of casino operators are suitable", said David Bonnet, partner at Delta State Holdings Ltd.

The company, which said previously it would cooperate with the regulator's requests, operates two casino-resorts in the Chinese enclave that generate about two-thirds of its total revenue. Boone Wayson will become non-executive chairman of the board and said in a statement that the board of directors accepted Wynn's resignation "with a collective heavy heart", calling Wynn a "philanthropist and a beloved leader and visionary".

Casino mogul Steve Wynn at a news conference in Medford, Mass., in 2016. Wynn remains in control of about 21 percent of parent Wynn Resorts, which owns 72 percent of the Macau company.

Entity Y was created in 2005, after the accusations, exclusively for the goal of handling the settlement funds, the newspaper reported, citing the court transcript of a Wynn Resorts lawyer's comments to a judge in an October hearing stemming from Wynn's legal battle with his ex-wife. Mr. Wynn is so ingrained into the identity of the Company that his signature is the Company's logo.

"They will have to relook at rebranding to something that sounds very similar to what it now is", said Ben Lee, a Macau-based managing partner at Asian gaming consultancy IGamiX.

Wynn took Wynn Resorts Limited public in 2002, becoming a billionaire in 2004 when his net worth doubled to $1.3bn, although he had been in the Las Vegas casino business since the late 60's and has been responsible for numerous innovations and ideas which have turned the Las Vegas Strip into the gambling and entertainment mecca it is today.

Other reports by GizPress

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