- The Clark County District court decided Thursday that Nevada gaming regulators no longer have the authority to pursue “any action” against Steve Wynn.
- The ruling said that since Wynn is no longer connected to Wynn Resorts, the regulators have no jurisdiction over him.
- The Nevada Gaming Control Board said it is reviewing the ruling and will soon decide on the next steps to take after consulting with its attorneys.
- Both Wynn’s attorney and former Nevada Gaming Control Board Chairwoman declined to comment on the case.
The Clark County District Court ruled Thursday that Nevada gaming regulators no longer have jurisdiction over Steve Wynn.
The decision said the Nevada Gaming Control Board and Commission don’t have authority to pursue “any action” against Wynn (including fines and disciplines) since he no longer has links with Wynn Resorts Ltd.
“Respondents fail to provide any authority supporting their jurisdiction over a person no longer involved in Nevada’s Gaming Industry in any capacity,” the decision said.
In a statement, the Control Board said it is reviewing the ruling and will soon “make decisions” concerning the steps to take after consulting with its attorneys.
In January 2018, the Wall Street Journal published an article alleging that the former Wynn Resorts CEO and Chairman had committed sexual harassment and workplace sexual misconduct offenses against female company workers.
Wynn has denied the allegations ever since, but he resigned the next month and de-linked himself from the company a month later.
After conducting an investigation, Nevada’s gaming control board finally filed a five-count complaint in October 2019, accusing Wynn of violating state regulations and engaging in sexual conduct with employees. Also, the Control Board claimed Wynn’s actions “harmed Nevada’s reputation and its gaming industry.”
The board pursued to rescind Wynn’s findings of suitability, which would rob him of his license and would have probably banned him from becoming a licensee in the state again, an unprecedented move. The complaint also sought to impose a fine on Wynn.
In January this year, Wynn filed a petition claiming that Nevada regulators lacked authority over him because he no longer had connections with Wynn Resorts.
However, regulators maintained that they have broad powers from the state’s legislature to enforce gaming laws, including the authority to punish violators of state regulations.
Otherwise, they said those who violate the laws would quit just to escape penalties or fines and come back to the industry later on.
However, Clark County Court Judge Adriana Escobar ruled that gaming regulators have no powers to punish Wynn after he left the company.
“Because (Wynn) has no material involvement, directly or indirectly, with a licensed gaming operation, this Court finds that Respondents have no jurisdiction to impose discipline or fines against him,” Escobar’s decision said.
Former control board Chairwoman and one of the three regulators who signed the complaint, Sandra Morgan, declined to comment on the case due to her involvement.
However, she believes the board has the authority to pursue discipline against licensees and individuals who violate the state’s gaming regulations.
Wynn’s attorneys declined to comment on the ruling.