Steve Wynn Agrees To Pay $10M Fine, Severs All Ties To Nevada Gambling

Written By Marc Meltzer on July 25, 2023 - Last Updated on July 27, 2023
Steve Wynn will pay a $10 million fine and sever all ties to the Nevada gaming industry.

Steve Wynn recently agreed to pay a $10 million fine to settle a sexual harassment complaint the Nevada Gaming Control Board made four years ago. The board agreed to accept the payment during its meeting on July 27.

After numerous allegations of sexual misconduct, Wynn resigned as CEO and sold all of his Wynn Resorts shares. He also terminated the lease he had for a residential villa at Wynn Las Vegas.

If the gaming board accepts this settlement, Wynn will no longer be involved in the Nevada gaming industry. This agreement would essentially say that Wynn is no longer suitable for any Nevada gambling job.

He no longer has anything to do with the company that bears his name.

Wynn Resorts nixes expansion plans after Steve Wynn exit

Wynn first came to Las Vegas in 1967. He transformed a run-down Golden Nugget Casino downtown into a first-class resort. His first major casino on the Las Vegas Strip was The Mirage, which opened in 1989. Wynn would go on to build Treasure Island, Bellagio and Wynn Las Vegas.

His empire began to crumble in 2018, after The Wall Street Journal reported accusations of sexual harassment from his employees. A week later, he resigned as CEO of Wynn Resorts.

After Wynn left the company, Matt Maddox was named CEO. His plan was to return Wynn Resorts to the luxury brand so many visitors loved.

One of the first things Maddox stopped were expansion and renovation plans for Wynn Las Vegas. His decisions may have been prudent financially for Wynn Resorts, but Maddox is no longer leading the company. Craig Billings, the current CEO, is helping Wynn Resorts cash in on the decision to hold off on changing the property in Las Vegas.

During the first quarter of this year, Wynn Resorts showed significant increases in Las Vegas revenue. The average daily hotel room rate was the highest reported in Vegas at almost $500 per night.

While the finances may be going in the right direction, visitors coming to Las Vegas are left without an elaborate and unique change to Wynn. Guests are also missing out on a new all-suite hotel tower and casino.

Wynn Paradise Park would have had a lagoon and giant King Kong

Prior to leaving the company, Wynn had some interesting ideas for moving the company forward. The strangest by far was Wynn Paradise Park.

The idea for the $1.5 billion Wynn Paradise Park was approved in 2017. To say the ideas for this expansion were on a different level than most expect from a Wynn property would be underselling how this would have changed Wynn Las Vegas.

Wynn Paradise Park was going to use 130 acres of land outside of the existing property. In fact, nine holes from the golf course at Wynn were destroyed to make room for the non-gaming expansion. Plans called for numerous additions to the property. They included a new convention space and a hotel tower that would have had 47 floors and 1,500 rooms, suites and villas.

Things took a strange turn after the basic expansion plans. Preliminary plans called for an island with ziplining and a giant King Kong. The heart of the external expansion would have been a 20-acre lagoon surrounded by a one-mile boardwalk.

Families were the target audience for Wynn Paradise Park

The hourglass-shaped lagoon would be open for hotel guests to use. The idea was that guests could go out onto the Vegas Strip lagoon to go water skiing, paddle boarding and even parasailing. Outside of the lagoon, there would be a carousel, a zipline, LED bumper cars and more attractions.

Wynn Paradise Park was going to have nightly fireworks and parades with 30-foot-tall floats. This would have been an interactive parade for guests, and Wynn envisioned selling around a dozen spaces on each float to guests.

Wynn’s wild plan was to make the luxury property a bit more of a family-friendly property.

After the plans were scrapped, the executives decided to focus on what made the company so popular. The golf course was rebuilt, and Wynn Las Vegas is back to business as usual.

Wynn West rooms would have sported 80-inch TVs

Not all of Wynn’s final expansion plans were so drastic. Wynn West was the working name for an expansion on the west side of Las Vegas Boulevard.

While Wynn Paradise Park was over the top, Wynn West would have been a more typical expansion that included a casino, hotel, bars and restaurants. It would have been a major expansion from the Vegas Strip west to Frank Sinatra Boulevard. It would have been kind of like how Circus Circus is laid out.

Wynn Las Vegas was projected to be a 280-acre property with multiple casinos, hotels, a golf course, an entertainment park and more that would stretch from Paradise Road to the I-15. The existing Wynn Las Vegas would have been connected to Wynn West by an air-conditioned walkway above the Vegas Strip.

Wynn West would have been an all-suite hotel with about 2,000 rooms. If the Wynn West and Wynn Paradise Park hotel tower would have been built, the entire property would have had about 9,000 hotel rooms.

The suites would have been about 650 square feet. Each suite would have had two bathrooms. At the time, Wynn touted the rooms would have 80-inch TVs.

Area has seen changes despite Wynn’s failed projects

Wynn didn’t end up changing the face of the north end of the Vegas Strip. However, the area is finally evolving.

Resorts World Las Vegas opened in 2021. This was the first all-new casino to open on the Vegas Strip since the Cosmopolitan in 2010.

SLS Las Vegas was sold in 2018. The property re-opened as Sahara Las Vegas in 2019.

The building for Fontainebleau has been standing since before Wynn left the company he started. The property finally appears to be on pace to open later this year.

Photo by Charles Krupa/AP Photo, file
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Marc Meltzer

Marc grew up on the mean streets of the South Bronx. He's the rare combination of Yankees and Jets fan which explains his often contrarian point of view. Marc is a freelance writer and social media consultant. Writing about steak, booze, gambling and Las Vegas is a tough job but somebody has to do it.

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