A Nevada court judge has ruled that the state’s Gaming Commission and Gaming Control Board cannot fine or discipline former casino boss Steve Wynn, as he has no ties to the state’s gambling industry.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board said in a statement that it will announce its decision on its next steps soon. The regulator can appeal the ruling to the Nevada Supreme Court.
The ruling was issued a year after the Gaming Control Board filed a five-count complaint through the Nevada Attorney General’s office. The lawsuit argued that the regulator together with the Gaming Commission they still had jurisdiction over Mr. Wynn, even though he was no longer involved in the state gambling industry at the time.
Mr. Wynn resigned from Wynn Resorts, the casino empire he had built, in February 2018 after an explosive Wall Street Journal investigation published the previous month revealed a decades-long pattern of alleged sexual misconduct by the employer.
The WSJ report alleged that Mr. Wynn had for years subjected Wynn Resorts employees to unwanted sexual advances and he had forced some of them to perform sexual acts with him. The disgraced businessman has denied the allegations, but resigned as CEO and President of Wynn Resorts and dumped his personal stake in the company in March 2018.
The scandal sparked multiple lawsuits and other problems for the casino mogul. The recent ruling was a rare victory for Mr. Wynn in the sexual harassment scandal, as well as the resulting lawsuits and regulatory problems.
No plans to re-enter the casino industry
Attorneys for Mr. Wynn did not comment on the recent ruling. Don Campbell and Colby Williams, who represent the disgraced businessman in court, argued before the Nevada Gaming Commission that the regulator had no jurisdiction over Mr. Wynn because he no longer lived in Nevada and he had no plans to re-enter the state’s casino industry.
Late last year, the commission said in a hearing that the businessman himself did not attend and was considering fining Mr. Wynn up to $ 500,000 and declare it unsuitable for being a part of the Nevada gaming industry.
The businessman’s lawyer argued that he did not have a personal license when he resigned from Wynn Resorts in February 2018 and disposed of his stake in the company.
Last year, the Nevada Gaming Commission fined Wynn Resorts a record $ 20 million for not adequately investigating the allegations made against his boss. The company also received a fine of $ 35 million in Massachusetts. Wynn Resorts may have lost its license in that state just before opening its $ 2.6 billion casino complex near Boston in mid-2019, but Massachusetts regulators deemed the company adequate to manage the property.