Monday, 19 February, 2018

Steve Wynn's casino company stock sinks after he quits

Chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts speaks during the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills California Chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts speaks during the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills California
| 08 February, 2018, 01:04

It came less than two weeks after the Wall Street Journal reported that a number of women said Wynn harassed or assaulted them and that one case led to a $7.5 million settlement. A manicurist said that when she went to his office for an appointment in 2005, he pressured her to disrobe, lie on his massage table and have sex.

His decision to step down as CEO and chairman from the company he founded follows his resignation as the finance chairman of the U.S. Republican Party's fundraising arm, the Republican National Committee, in January.

The mogul is credited with being the person who transformed Las Vegas casinos from gambling dens into entertainment hubs where guests could watch spectacular shows and eat in high-end restaurants.

Wynn Resorts, Limited develops, owns, and operates destination casino resorts.

In the former Portuguese colony, Maddox worked on legislative initiatives and land concessions as well as the project's initial $400 million in financing, the Las Vegas Review Journal wrote in 2008. The Macau government is likely to watch for developments in the USA, he said.


Wynn continues to deny the allegations and has labelled them as preposterous, according to the New York Times. "We have been given reason to have confidence that our businesses will continue after the initial concession expiration dates", he said. The company is worth around $17 billion by market capitalization. Yhb Advisors stated it has 0.06% in Wynn Resorts, Limited (NASDAQ:WYNN). "The size and the richness of the Japanese market [make it] the flawless [place] in which we can plant our flower", he told the Nikkei in a September interview.

The lawsuit said the board breached its fiduciary duty to investors by not investigating the accusations and by continuing to recommend Wynn's leadership to investors.

"This actually removes the potential risk related to a Macau gaming licence, as the "suitability" test only applies to the directors or shareholders with 5 percent or above", wrote JP Morgan analyst DS Kim. Added another Hong Kong-based gaming analyst, "It would be ridiculous for the Macau government to take away the license because of the conduct of one individual". NPR is among the multiple companies and organizations that have been affected by such charges. A spokeswoman for Elaine Wynn declined to comment Tuesday evening.

"I am extremely proud of everything we have built at this company". Company president Matt Maddox is taking over as CEO and Boone Wayson as board chairman. The executive also stepped down from the board of the company and as chairman of Wynn Macau Ltd., a publicly-traded subsidiary.

But the Credit Suisse team highlighted uncertainties around Mr Wynn departure from the Macau units, namely the "stability of existing management", the "strength of Wynn Macau's relationship with the Chinese/Macau government", the "strategic direction of the overall company" and the "development of Wynn Palace phase 2".

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