Wynn Resorts was issued a record $20 million fine by the Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC) for its failure to adequately investigate sexual harassment claims made against its found and former CEO, Steve Wynn. The fine was a major statement by the NGC whose previous record high fine was $5.5 million issued to Cantor Gaming for issues with its sportsbooks, according to a report on CNBC.com.
Wynn, the man behind the brand and the allegations, was not present at the hearing that cost his namesake company so much cash. The formerly iconic Vegas staple resigned his position as Wynn Resorts CEO in February 2018 when credible allegations of sexual misconduct, conducted on company time and property, emerged in the media. Wynn’s absence was noted by Commissioner John Moran who noted, “Isn’t it strange that the people … that are the subject of this aren’t even in the room today? The people that are in this room now … they’re left with the train wreck to try to fix it.”
The NGC maintains that company officials were aware of Wynn’s misconduct, but failed to investigate – even after Wynn settled out of court for $7.5 million with a hairdresser who claimed Wynn sexually assaulted her.
Wynn Resorts officials acknowledged wrong-doing and said their initial failure to investigate, what turned out be credible claims of grotesque sexual harassment, “…was driven by Mr. Wynn’s adamant denial of all allegations.”
The company, it turns out, actually caught a break with the $20 million fine – and the retention of its gaming license. According to CalvinAyre.com, at least two commissioners wanted to impose a more severe penalty.