New York Comptroller Says Wynn Board Was Complicit in Abuse

Edvard Pettersson


Feb 26, 2018

The New York state comptroller accused the board of Wynn Resorts Ltd. of doing nothing to stop the alleged sexual misconduct of Steve Wynn, who abruptly stepped down this month as chairman and chief executive of the casino operator he founded.

"Wynn Resorts’ board members were complicit in Steve Wynn’s pervasive pattern of sexual abuse and harassment, setting a tone at the top that permitted Steve Wynn to wield his power unchecked," Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said in a complaint in Nevada state court.

DiNapoli, as head of the third-largest public retirement fund in the U.S., which holds Wynn shares, sued current and former Wynn board members and officers for breach of fiduciary duty. The board was aware since at least 2016 of the allegations against Wynn, brought up by his ex-wife in a lawsuit, and did nothing to stop his misconduct, according to the Feb. 22 lawsuit.

Wynn Resorts’ board, which oversees a $17.4 billion company with casinos in Las Vegas and the Chinese territory of Macau, has been criticized for deference to founder Wynn, who resigned as CEO after reports that he allegedly pressured employees to have sex.

Wynn has denied the claims, while regulators in Macau and the U.S. have said they are looking into the matter. The Las Vegas-based company is facing numerous shareholder lawsuits after the shares fell about 19 percent last month when the Wall Street Journal reported allegations Wynn pressured employees to have sex with him.

The New York State Common Retirement Fund held 183,800 Wynn Resorts shares as of Jan. 31 and will vote its shares against all incumbents and insiders nominated for the board at the annual meeting, DiNapoli said in a statement Monday.