The Wynn Resorts brand has taken a beating during the past few weeks due to the numerous sexual assault and molestation allegations that against its former CEO and chairman Steve Wynn. However gaming experts believe that the Wynn brand will be able to survive this scandal and continue to be one of the premier gaming brands in the world.
Wall Street Journal Helps Take Out Steve Wynn
Wynn Resorts’ CEO Steve Wynn came under tremendous fire after dozens of sexual allegations against him were published by the Wall Street Journal in Jan 2018. Ever since the frenzy that surrounded Wynn broke out, the company has lost billions in value after stock prices plummeted and market confidence and support reached an all-time low. Patrons of the brand were cancelling reservations and events at the resort. State regulators were hot on the company’s tail, waving the possibility that in a worst case scenario, the company’s license to operate in different states would be revoked.
On Tuesday Feb 6, Steve Wynn finally gave in to the pressure and stepped down as the CEO and chairman of Wynn Resorts and was replaced by president Matt Maddox. Right after Wynn’s resignation and Maddox’s step-up, Wynn Resorts shares jumped 10 percent Wednesday, its biggest recovery since shares plummeted from $200 to $163 during the release of the Wall Street Journal report.
Gaming Analysts Positive That Wynn Brand Will Survive
There were many doom and gloom market analysts who predicted that it would be very difficult for Wynn Resorts to operate successfully without Steve Wynn and the helm. They expected share prices to continue to drop and even predicted that it would lead to Wynn Resorts being sold to one of its competitors.
However, despite earlier worries that the Wynn Resorts might not be able to withstand its CEO’s departure, outlook is starting to turn positive after the company’s comeback in the stock markets. According to Morningstar analyst Dan Wasiolek, the company’s danger status in the past weeks all stemmed from the apprehension that its casino licenses in Las Vegas could be revoked due to Wynn’s continued association to the brand. Since Wynn has stepped down, the apprehension is starting to subside.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission and Nevada Gaming Control Board are still continuing their investigations of the case, and are now trying to determine whether the remaining people on the Wynn Resorts board were knowledgeable about the million-dollar settlement paid by Wynn to silence the company employee who came out during the Wall Street Journal report.
With the rise of the #MeToo movement all over the world, many are concerned that people will be driven away from the Wynn properties because of the now tarnished reputation of the Wynn name. According to Itamar Simonson, marketing professor at Stanford University, Wynn’s popularity may not be necessarily tied to the brand and the damage to Wynn Resorts will be short-lived.
30-year-old Sol Marketing CEO Deb Gabor echoed Simonson’s sentiments saying that Wynn Resorts can make it if they continue to capitalize on the luxury and quality the brand they are known for in the market.
Wynn Resorts Might Consider Brand Change
Wynn Resorts currently owns two casinos in Las Vegas and two in Macau. Another Wynn property is set to rise in Boston, the first and only high-end casino of its kind in the area. In recent years, Wynn Resorts has been synonymous to everything opulent and luxurious, and it has been the premier destination of many high-end visitors and gamblers who are looking for the finest experience in Vegas or Macau.
Because of the strength of the Wynn brand, newsletter Las Vegas Advisor owner Anthony Curtis said that the brand will continue to persist even without Wynn at its helm. In a statement, Curtis said, “The brand is powerful and associated with the ultimate in luxury and opulence in Vegas. As things currently stand, there is no effect at all. Wynn-Encore is the top dog in that category with or without him.”
With Wynn out of the throne, what is left now is to decide is whether Wynn Resorts will continue forward bearing the name of its founder. University of Nevada-Las Vegas assistant professor Todd Uglow believes that there is a huge possibility Wynn’s signature will be stripped off from the building so the company can keep its distance from the still brewing allegations against Wynn.
Eric Rose, crisis manager at Englander Knabe & Allen, believes otherwise and advises the company against taking hasty steps. He wants to take into consideration the strength of the brand and the costs of rebranding. President Donald Trump’s namesake Trump Tower Las Vegas has been a classic example of a brand’s persisting power, which posted double-digit growth last year despite the sexual allegations and political mishaps that surround its founder.

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