Nevada’s Gaming Regulator Doesn’t Have Authority to Sanction Steve Wynn

Nevada’s Gaming Regulator Doesn’t Have Authority to Sanction Steve Wynn

Beleaguered US-casino group founder Steve Wynn believes that he is not subject to disciplinary action by Nevada’s gaming regulators. His lawyers argued the same while filing a motion asking to dismiss cases against him.

Wynn presents his case

According to Wynn’s lawyers, the gaming regulators of Nevada do not have any oversight over him because he left Wynn Resorts Ltd. in 2018. He is facing sexual misconduct allegations by former staff members. Wynn has denied all allegations against himself.

Nevada’s Gaming Regulator Doesn’t Have Authority to Sanction Steve Wynn

In October, he was handed a notice by the Nevada Gaming Control Board, which lodged a formal complaint with the Nevada Gaming Commission against his inappropriate actions. The Board informed him that they could fine him, and he may lose his “suitability” status, which will eventually lead to the loss of his gaming license.

In a motion presented recently, his lawyers sought the dismissal of five complaints of sexual misconduct against the entrepreneur. The filing states that the Board

“purports to exercise continuing jurisdiction over him through a so-called Nevada Gaming Control Board ‘administrative hold’ on his ‘findings of suitability’.”

Does the board hold oversight?

According to the lawyers, the Board believes that it still has oversight over Wynn even though he severed his ties with his business over a year ago. They said that regulators want to hold Wynn under scrutiny after placing an administrative hold on his license.

The attorneys argued that the regulators did not specify any specific regulation or statute under which they could apply the administrative hold to a licensee or someone considered suitable for holding a license. They asked whether the state Legislature has either expressly or implicitly allowed the board to discipline Wynn. This is because he is no longer involved with a gaming license and does not

“pose an alleged threat to the industry or the public at large?”

The board has time until November 27 to reply to Wynn’s motion. After the Board’s reply, Wynn will be required to respond by December 9. A hearing on the matter will be held 10 days later, i.e. on December 19.

Wynn owned and controlled Wynn Resorts, the parent company of Wynn Macau Ltd. However, in February last year, he decided to step down and sold all his holdings in the company. Earlier this year, the Nevada Gaming Commission fined the company $20 million over sexual misconduct issues. The regulator was unhappy with the way the company handled the allegations internally. Wynn paid $7.5 million to a former employee $7.5 million in 2005 for similar allegations.

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