The Nevada Gaming Commission handed down a record fine of $20 million against Wynn Resorts for failing to properly investigate sexual harassment allegations against former CEO Steve Wynn.
The company could have lost its gaming license instead it is forced to pay the fine in five days.
“The fine needs to move the needle,” said Chairman Tony Alamo. “Needs to ring across the entire country.”
The fine is almost four times the previous record of $5.5 million imposed against CG Technology in 2014.
At issue was a 22-page complaint on how four Wynn executives failed to investigate sexual harassment allegations involving Wynn from eight female employees since 2005.
Commissioner Philip Pro said it was a failure of a corporate culture to govern itself.
“The people that caused this aren’t here,” said Commissioner John Moran. ” The people in this room are left with the train wreck.”
The company has accepted responsibility for mishandling the allegations.
Since the allegations were reported in 2018, Wynn Resorts took several steps to change its corporate culture. Among other moves, it hired a new CEO, remade its board and installed new leadership in key positions. Wynn was also forced to sell his shares in the company.
Wynn Resorts CEO Matt Maddox turned down a request for an interview but the company released the following statement:
“We are pleased that the Nevada Gaming Commission has recognized the company’s transformation and ‘refreshed culture’ over the course of the last twelve months and acknowledged the ‘paradigm shift’ that has occurred within the company.
“The completion of the review by Nevada regulators is an important step forward, and we deeply appreciate the trust and confidence they have placed in the new leadership of Wynn Resorts to ‘grow and prosper’.”
Wynn has denied all the allegations against him. The Nevada Attorney General’s Office says Wynn has paid some of his accusers $8.4 million in settlement money.
The $20 million in settlement money will go into the state’s general fund.
(Watch the full hearing)