The Man behind Wynn Resorts

Las Vegas based Wynn Resorts, the world’s No. 2 Casino Operator made a £5.4 billion takeover approach for Australia’s Crown Resorts owned James Packer. 

Wynn Resorts was founded in 2002 by Steve Wynn, now a 77-year-old American billionaire, who was forced to resign from his empire last year following a Wall Street Journal investigation into “the man who built modern Las Vegas”.

He’s the man that Terry Benedict, the ruthless casino owner in the Hollywood film Ocean’s Eleven, played by Andy Garcia, is reportedly loosely based on.

He’s a friend and former fundraiser for Donald Trump. He’s also the man who sold an original Picasso, Le Reve, for US$139 million – and then accidentally put a hole in it with his elbow while showing the work to guests in his office.

The son of a bingo parlour operator, Mr Wynn took over the struggling business after his father’s death and moved into Las Vegas casinos in 1967 and built the The Mirage and The Bellagio.

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Today, Wynn Resorts is valued at US$15 billion and owns two casinos in Las Vegas, Wynn and Encore, with plans for another in Las Vegas and one in Boston. It owns three in Macau.

But Mr Wynn, with a personal wealth valued at US$3 billion by Forbes, was also the most prominent corporate chieftain to fall to a #MeToo era scandal, forced out last year by allegations of sexual misconduct.

Wynn Resorts employees and others described a CEO who pressured workers to perform sex acts in a sexualised workplace. A manicurist who accused Mr Wynn of sexual assault won a US$7.5 million settlement in 2009 but Wynn supposedly never told the company. Mr Wynn denies all the allegations. 

As the scandal engulfed the company last year, Mr Wynn first resigned and then sold his stake in the company bearing his name. It came as he battled divorce proceedings – for the second time – against ex-wife, Elaine. Mr Wynn handpicked his successor Matt Maddox to run Wynn Resorts, and his former wife Elaine controls the largest share of privately held stock.




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