Gaming regulators in Nevada have pushed back on shamed casino icon Steve Wynn’s claim they have no authority to punish him.
Steve Wynn’s lawyers declared earlier this month that the Nevada Gaming Control Board (GCB) had no power to impose any financial penalty on him or revoke his gaming licence on the basis of his alleged sexual harassment of the company he founded, Wynn Resorts.
In February 2018, Steve was forced to resign from Wynn Resorts and subsequently sold off his holdings in the company, leading his lawyers to conclude that regulators in Nevada no longer have authority over his actions. But on Wednesday, the GCB strongly pushed back on that view, denying Steve’s motion to dismiss the regulator’s October claim against him.
The GCB clarified that Steve’s disengagement from his former company did not rob the regulator of his full and absolute power to demand that Steve be disciplined by the State Gaming Commission for putting the gaming industry of the state into a negative light.
The GCB further claimed that nothing in the state gaming regulations supports Steve’s claim that by quitting Wynn Resorts, he would “unilaterally cut off the subject matter jurisdiction of this commission.” Nevada regulations allow licensees to surrender their licences but that surrender “is not effective until this commission accepts it.” Until that barrier is removed, a licensee remains liable for penalties.
Steve has to respond to the GCB’s filing before December 9, potentially setting up a’ worst Christmas hearing ever’ before the December 19 Gaming Commission.