NGCB wants control over Steve Wynn despite court ruling

Male lawyer or judge working with contract papers, Law book and wooden gavel on table in courtroom

Male lawyer or judge working with contract papers, Law book and wooden gavel on table in courtroomThe Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) still has Steve Wynn in its sights, despite the fact that he was ousted from Wynn Resorts, the casino company he founded. The regulatory body wanted to place a lifetime ban on him following the major fallout from his sexual misconduct scandal, but Wynn asserted that it couldn’t. The case went to court and, last week, the NGCB was handed a defeat when a judge decided that it, along with the Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC), didn’t have that level of authority. Now, the NGCB might try to appeal that decision in hopes of keeping Wynn out of Nevada’s gaming scene.

The NGCB had argued that Wynn was “unsuitable to be associated with a gaming enterprise or the gaming industry as a whole” when it presented its case before Clark County District Court Judge Adriana Escobar. However, Escobar decided that, because Wynn had given up control of the company in 2018, the board no longer had any legal grounds for going after him. Escobar explained in his ruling, “Because [Wynn] has no material involvement, directly or indirectly, with a licensed gaming operation, this Court finds that [gaming regulators] have no jurisdiction to impose discipline or fines against [Wynn].”

Wynn has always denied any wrongdoing and has tried to avoid the topic of his sexual appetite as much as possible. However, he was still forced out of the company, opting, in his words, to resign in order to save the casino operator’s reputation. He tendered his resignation and subsequently sold off his entire stake in the company, which gave him a massive windfall that he used to purchase a $43-million mansion in Florida’s secluded city of Lantana. 

The NGCB wanted to hit Wynn with a financial penalty and has tried to pin him down on five violations, all of which allegedly occurred while he was leading the company. Despite his claims of innocence, Wynn Resorts was ultimately determined to have been involved in some type of shady action with him and had to pay a total of more than $55 million in fines in Nevada and Massachusetts. Since he’s no longer involved in the state’s gaming scene, though, Escobar feels that he can’t be held accountable for any alleged improprieties. The NGCB will weigh its options and decide whether to appeal that decision when it meets on December 2.

Should the NGCB decide that it still has a case, it can try to appeal Escobar’s decision to the Nevada Supreme Court. Anyone can petition the highest court in the state to review a case, but this doesn’t mean it will, nor does it mean a reversal could be expected. According to state records, the Nevada Supreme Court received 2,536 petitions last year, but ultimately only responded to 69 of those.