Wynn Resorts has been fined $20 million by Nevada gambling regulators for failing to investigate claims that developer Steve Wynn sexually harassed and assaulted multiple women before he resigned last year. That’s $14.5 million more than the next highest fine in state history.
As Chairman Tony Alamo told the AP, $20 million is a figure that “makes it clear to all licensees that this culture cannot be tolerated,” but still gives the publicly traded company a chance to “heal.”
It needs to move needles here,” he said. “It needs to ring across the entire country.”
Wynn will personally not be part of the settlement. The allegations against him were reported last year by the Wall Street Journal, which said that Wynn allegedly forced employees to have sex with him, and also did things like “sit in the salon to get pedicures in such a way that his genitals were exposed.”
Though Wynn resigned shortly after the allegations were published, he has denied any wrongdoing, saying that “It is deplorable for anyone to find themselves in this situation.”
Wynn Resorts, however, was certainly aware that something was afoot. From the AP:
But Wynn Resorts acknowledged in settlement documents that several former board members and executives knew about but failed to investigate after Wynn paid $7.5 million in 2005 to a former salon employee who alleged he raped her and that she became pregnant as a result.
“Mr. Wynn ... engaged in intimate and sexual conduct with (company) employees,” the settlement documents said.
The company also failed to investigate a cocktail server’s allegation that from 2005 to 2006 Wynn pressured her into a nonconsensual sexual relationship, the documents said. Wynn paid a $975,000 private settlement to that woman and her parents, the settlement said.
Wynn Resorts neither admitted nor denied that company executives were made aware of allegations that Wynn sexually harassed multiple flight attendants on company aircraft.
Though the commission froze Wynn’s Nevada casino license, it has not taken other disciplinary action against him or any of the other board members and executives named in the settlement.