Wynn Resorts shareholders involved in a derivative lawsuit stemming from Steve Wynn’s sexual misconduct allegations have agreed to a $41 million settlement, $20 million of which will come from the disgraced casino mogul Steve Wynn.
Following the publication of a Wall Street Journal article in January 2018 which exposed Wynn’s alleged decades-long pattern of sexual offences towards his female employees, a series of shareholder lawsuits have been filed against the former CEO and the company’s board of directors.
The multiple lawsuits accused the board of blatantly ignoring Wynn’s sustained pattern of sexual misconduct, which resulted in irreparable damage to the company and its shareholders.
Details of the Settlement
Wynn was forced to step down from his post and decided to sell his stock following the bombshell, but has denied all accusations against him. However, this latest development could be an indication that the former CEO may have finally owned up to his mistakes.
Under the settlement, Wynn Resorts will also receive $21 million from insurance carriers, on top of the $20 million coming from Wynn’s own pockets. The company will also be credited with $49 million in relation to corporate governance improvements and changes to policies which the company had agreed to undertake after the derivative lawsuit was filed. Wynn Resorts is set to adopt more bylaw changes as part of the settlement.
Among the plaintiffs of the lawsuits covered by the settlement were The New York State Common Retirement Fund, municipal firefighters in California, as well as an operating engineers’ construction pension fund based in Pennsylvania.
In an interview with the Associated Press last week, New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, said the agreements and conditions established in the settlement will protect Wynn Resorts employees and shareholders from future harm. DiNapoli supervises New York’s $209 billion retirement fund, which also owns shares in Wynn Resorts, worth around $23 million.
Wynn Resorts declined to elaborate on the settlement, but it clarified that the company and its directors were absolved of any wrongdoing in relation to the lawsuit.
Changes at Wynn Resorts
In February 2019, Wynn Resorts was slapped with a massive $20 million fine by the Nevada Gaming Commission, the largest being handed down in the history of the state, to settle a 10-count complaint arising from failure by previous company executives to properly deal with several sexual misconduct allegations against the company’s former CEO.
Among the counts was in relation to Wynn’s alleged rape of a salon employee who became pregnant as a result. The former CEO allegedly settled the matter by paying the victim and her husband $7.5 million, with the full knowledge of senior executives at the company. Wynn was also accused of pressuring a cocktail server into a non-consensual sexual relationship; she also allegedly received $975,000 in settlement from the former casino magnate.
In an attempt to rebuild the company’s name and prevent further damage, Wynn Resorts revamped the entire make-up of its board of directors, and appointed former gaming industry veteran and former Harrah’s Entertainment CEO Phil Satre as the new board chairman. Matt Maddox also took the helm as CEO, while Ellen Whittermore and Marilyn Spiegel were named as general counsel and president respectively. Rose Huddleston was also appointed as senior vice president of human resources.
Wynn Resorts also implemented new policies and formed a compliance committee all aimed at keeping sexual harassment allegations in check.
NGCB Asserts Jurisdiction Over Steve Wynn
Meanwhile, the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) has now issued a response to Wynn’s motion to dismiss in relation to a complaint that seeks to effectively ban him from the state’s gaming industry, alongside an undisclosed fine. The motion argued that the NGCB no longer have jurisdiction over the former gaming magnate as he already parted ways with Wynn Resorts and had left the industry for good.
However, in a response issued last week, the NGCB stated that Wynn’s motion to dismiss a regulatory complaint is legally flawed and is not supported by the Gaming Control Act. The agency asserts that they still have jurisdiction over the former casino mogul and will still decide whether or not he is suitable to hold a gaming license.

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