Casino mogul Steve Wynn resigns amid sex misconduct claims

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Casino mogul Steve Wynn resigned Tuesday as chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts amid sexual misconduct allegations.

“In the last couple of weeks, I have found myself the focus of an avalanche of negative publicity,” Wynn said in a written statement Tuesday. “As I have reflected upon the environment this has created — one in which a rush to judgment takes precedence over everything else, including the facts — I have reached the conclusion I cannot continue to be effective in my current roles.”

The Wall Street Journal reported Jan. 26 that a number of women said Wynn harassed or assaulted them and that one case led to a $7.5 million settlement.

The Las Vegas billionaire has vehemently denied the allegations, which he attributes to a campaign led by his ex-wife.

Last month, Wynn resigned as finance chairman of the Republican National Committee.

Since 2013, Wynn has contributed nearly $2.4 million to GOP candidates and party organizations around the country, including Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and 2017 special election winners. Some Republicans in Congress, including Nevada’s Dean Heller, have already announced they are donating contributions they received from Wynn to charity.

Wynn also faces investigations by gambling regulators in two states.

The board of directors for Wynn Resorts has appointed Matt Maddox, currently president of the company, as its CEO effective immediately.

Details of Wynn’s separation agreement were not immediately disclosed.

Statement from Wynn Resorts:

The Board of Directors of Wynn Resorts reluctantly announced today that it accepted the resignation of Steve Wynn as CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors. The board has appointed Matt Maddox, currently President of the Company, as its CEO, and Boone Wayson as Non-Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors, effective immediately.

“It is with a collective heavy heart, that the board of directors of Wynn Resorts today accepted the resignation of our founder, CEO and friend Steve Wynn,” said non-executive director of the board Boone Wayson. “Steve Wynn is an industry giant. He is a philanthropist and a beloved leader and visionary. He played the pivotal role in transforming Las Vegas into the entertainment destination it is today. He also assembled a world-class team of executives that will continue to meet the high standards of excellence that Steve Wynn created and the Wynn brand has come to represent.”

Steve Wynn created modern Las Vegas. He transformed the city into an economic powerhouse by making it a world-wide tourist destination. He designed, built and operated the most iconic resorts on the Las Vegas strip, beginning with the Mirage, then Treasure Island, the Bellagio, Wynn Las Vegas and Encore at Wynn Las Vegas. Wynn Macau, Mr. Wynn’s first resort in the SAR of Macau in China, was designated by Forbes Travel Guide as the best resort in the world. Along with Wynn Palace in Cotai, the company built by Steve Wynn has been recognized as having more Five Star awards than any independent hotel company in the world.

Wynn Resorts remains as committed as ever to upholding the highest standards and being an inclusive and supportive employer. In fact, more than 40 percent of all Wynn Las Vegas management are women; the highest in the gaming industry. The company will continue to fully focus on its operations at Wynn Macau, Wynn Palace and Wynn Las Vegas; the development and opening of the first phase of Wynn Paradise Park, currently under construction on the former Wynn golf course; as well as the construction of Wynn Boston Harbor, which will open in June 2019.

Details of Mr. Wynn’s separation agreement will be disclosed when they are finalized.

(Copyright (c) 2019 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)