According to Steve Wynn, authorities in Nevada have “no jurisdiction” to either fine him or bar him from the gaming industry of the state because he is no longer a casino licensee and has already taken himself out of the industry.
On Thursday, attorneys for the fallen casino mogul filed a motion to dismiss a five-count complaint lodged by the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) seeking to “revoke Mr. Wynn’s findings of suitability” and “fine Mr. Wynn a monetary sum” under the gaming laws of Nevada.
Wynn resigned from Wynn Resorts as Chairman and CEO and sold off his entire stake in the company shortly after an article in the Wall Street Journal in January 2018 alleging that he had sexually harassed numerous staff.
The NGCB’s disciplinary action against Wynn includes the charge that he failed to follow company policies by paying $7.5 million to a manicurist from Wynn Resorts who he allegedly sexually assaulted, a transaction that was not disclosed to the board of the company.
The regulator also claims that he ordered the chief human resources officer of the company not to investigate why he paid $975,000 for a cocktail server.
Wynn has always denied sexual misconduct allegations, and filing Thursday reiterates his view that the allegations are part of a smear campaign orchestrated by his ex-wife, Elaine Wynn.
It claims that some media reports contain “demonstrably false statements for which Mr. Wynn continues to pursue legal relief” and retained renowned defamation litigator L. Lin Wood to assist in these cases.
Wynn’s lawyers also note that NGCB claims that it retains jurisdiction over Wynn because it has placed “administrative hold” on its Suitability Findings. But they add that “the statutes and regulations governing gaming in Nevada are devoid of any concept known as ‘administrative hold.’”
Such a draconian concept of lifetime jurisdiction is found nowhere in the statutes or regulations relied upon by the NGCB,” it continues. “It is clear the Nevada legislature neither expressly nor implicitly authorised the Commission and NGCB to discipline persons who no longer have any involvement with gaming licensees.”
The filing argues that Wynn has voluntarily separated himself from Wynn Resorts and that any other Nevada gaming licensee is an unchallenged reality. This is supported by the NGCB’s own claim, as well as by the results of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission’s suitability inquiry into Wynn Resorts, it goes on.
Nevertheless, Wynn is willing to sign a stipulated agreement with the NGCB that he will never go back to the gaming industry in Nevada.