Steve Wynn is one of the biggest names in the casino industry. According to Forbes, Wynn has an estimated net worth of $3.5 billion, as of February 7, 2018.
Wynn’s father, Michael, was a bingo parlor operator. When he got too old to carry on the business, his son took it over. Wynn moved that business to Vegas in 1967, and turned it into something bigger. He has built hotels and casinos in Las Vegas and has branched out over the years, most recently building a casino in Massachusetts.
In recent weeks, sexual misconduct allegations against Wynn were outlined by the Wall Street Journal. Stock in his company fell dramatically and, on Tuesday, February 6, it was announced that Wynn will step down as the CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Wynn Resorts.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Wynn Has Resigned as CEO of Wynn Resorts Following Sexual Misconduct Claims
On Tuesday, February 6, 2018, Wynn Resorts announced the resignation of Steve Wynn as CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors.
“It is with a collective heavy heart, that the board of directors of Wynn Resorts today accepted the resignation of our founder, CEO and friend Steve Wynn. Steve Wynn is an industry giant. He is a philanthropist and a beloved leader and visionary. He played the pivotal role in transforming Las Vegas into the entertainment destination it is today. He also assembled a world-class team of executives that will continue to meet the high standards of excellence that Steve Wynn created and the Wynn brand has come to represent,” said non-executive director of the board Boone Wayson.
Upon resigning, Wynn released the following statement.
“In the last couple of weeks, I have found myself the focus of an avalanche of negative publicity. As I have reflected upon the environment this has created — one in which a rush to judgment takes precedence over everything else, including the facts — I have reached the conclusion I cannot continue to be effective in my current roles. Therefore, effective immediately, I have decided to step down as CEO and Chairman of the Board of Wynn Resorts, a company I founded and that I love.”
“The Wynn Resorts team and I have built houses of brick. Which is to say, the institution we created — a collection of the finest designers and architects ever assembled, as well as an operating philosophy now ingrained in the minds and hearts of our entire team — will remain standing for the long term. I am extremely proud of everything we have built at this company. Most of all, I am proud of our employees.”
“The succession plan laid out by the Board of Directors and which I wholeheartedly endorse now places Matt Maddox in the CEO seat. With Matt, Wynn Resorts is in good hands. He and his team are well positioned to carry on the plans and vision for the company I created.”
“I want to thank all of the employees who have made Wynn Resorts the most admired resort company in the world, and for the support I have received from them in recent weeks. Most importantly, I want everyone to continue to be proud of this company and the many unique ways it will forever continue to delight guests.”
As for how his resignation will affect his overall net worth, it is believed that he will still be a shareholder of Wynn Resort stock. Additionally, Wynn Resorts is working on a “separation agreement” with Mr. Wynn, which “will be disclosed” when all of the details are worked out.
2. Wynn Resorts Stock Dropped $3.5 Billion & He Was Down $425 Million After the Allegations Surfaced
Shortly after the Wall Street Journal published its piece detailing the misconduct alleged by various Wynn Resort employees and others who knew Wynn, Wynn Resorts stock began to fall.
According to Fortune, Wynn Resorts lost about $3.5 billion in value after the allegations surfaced.
Wynn is a shareholder, owning 11 percent of the company’s total shares. On January 30, just three days after the Wall Street Journal’s article was published, CNN Money reported that Wynn lost more than $425 million after the Wynn Resorts stock dropped.
“According to the most recent filings, Wynn owns 12.1 million shares of the company’s stock through a family trust he controls. That’s 11.8% of the shares outstanding. So when the stock fell 10% on Friday on this report, his estimated net worth dropped by $246 million, or roughly a quarter-billion dollars. Monday’s drop in share price added $204 million to his paper losses, bringing the total decline in his net worth to $450 million,” CNN Money reported.
The loss doesn’t affect any shareholder unless they decide to sell those shares while the stock is down, wherefore, Steve Wynn didn’t actually “lose” any money.
The stock started to move in the opposite direction shortly after, however, and Wynn was able to recoup about $23.5 million the following day.
As of February 6, the stock seems to have rebounded, up 9.70 percent. Currently, one share will cost you about $163.
3. He Owns Several Resorts & Casinos all Over the World
When Steve Wynn first moved to Las Vegas, he got in with Frontier Hotel and Casino, purchasing a small stake to get his feet wet. According to Vanity Fair, the 3 percent stake cost him $75,000. Wynn worked “as a junior partner, slots manager, and assistant credit manager,” really learning the ins and the outs of the business from the casino side of things.
After a few months, however, the owners of Frontier were outed as Detroit gangsters. This left Wynn without a steady job, but he still had luck on his side. He ended up meeting banker E. Parry Thomas, and in 1971, the two men made a deal that would change Las Vegas forever.
“Thomas arranged for Wynn to buy a narrow strip of land next door to Caesars Palace…for $1.1 million,” Vanity Fair reports. Less than one year later, Wynn sold the property to Caesars Palace for double, making himself a nice chunk of change that would help him build his empire.
When he was just 31 years old, Wynn became the chairman and president of the Golden Nugget, a casino that is still in business today.
From there, Wynn campaigned to raise over $100 million with the help of financier Michael Milken. The money was used to build the Atlantic City Golden Nugget in New Jersey.
“Almost overnight, the Golden Nugget became the most profitable casino in Atlantic City. Whereas it had taken Milken four months to raise the first $25 million for Wynn’s casino, he now sold $250 million of bonds in a single day in 1983.”
Flash forward about a decade and Wynn was on top of the Vegas food chain, running the Mirage Resorts (Mirage, Treasure Island, and the Bellagio). At the time, he was earning a salary of $2.5 million — and was receiving bonuses. But things weren’t all rosy for Wynn, who had been going over budget on various renovations and even splurged a whopping $700 million on Beau Rivage, a resort casino in Biloxi, Mississippi. In 2000, Wynn sold The Mirage to MGM.
“When negotiations were over, MGM agreed to buy Mirage for $21 a share, or $4.4 billion plus $2 billion in assumed debt. Wynn personally walked away with $500 million plus an $11.3 million “golden parachute.”
Wynn went on to build his very own namesake hotel, Wynn Las Vegas Resort, which opened in 2005. The following year, he opened Wynn Macau in Hong Kong. That same year, Wynn announced that he would build a nearly identical golden tower directly behind Wynn Las Vegas that he dubbed Encore. The resort was opened in 2008.
Wynn Las Vegas Resort is 45 floors and features 2,716 rooms.
Encore is 63 floors and has 2,034. Its casino spans an impressive 80,000 square feet.
The company is planning to open an expansive shopping complex called Wynn Plaza later this year.
His latest venture, Wynn Boston Harbor is slated to open in Everett, Massachusetts, in 2019. After failing to obtain the town of Foxborough’s approval to put a casino near Gillette Stadium, Wynn chose this location, about 15 minutes north of the city of Boston. That plan seems to be up in the air following Wynn’s resignation.
“Investigators with the commission have been reviewing Wynn’s suitability for holding a gaming license in Massachusetts,” Mass Live reports.
4. He Owns a Yacht Worth More Than $200 Million, 2 Private Jets & a Pricey Art Collection
Wynn is the proud owner of a 205-foot super yacht called “Aquarius.” The impressive vessel features seven cabins that fit 14 passengers comfortably, and 15 cabins for 30 crew members, according to Super Yacht Fan.
Aside from its massive size, there are a few key features that make this yacht unique. The vessel was designed by Sinot, a company that specializes in “intelligent layouts” and customized furniture. Its sea-level bar and lounge is located underneath a “glass bottom pool,” according to Super Yacht Fan.
This boat is one that many people dream of boarding. It is complete with its very own fitness center, beauty salon, and even a helicopter landing pad.
Additionally, Wynn owns two private jets. He has a 2007 Gulfstream G450 and a Gulfstream G650.
When he’s not staying in his Las Vegas hotel or on his yacht, he lives in one of his other properties. In 2015, he purchased a 19,299-square-foot mansion in Beverly Hills from Guess jeans co-founder Maurice Marciano for $48 million. The property sits on 2.7 acres and features 8 bedrooms and 13 bathrooms, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Wynn also owns a home in Las Vegas. The 4,500-square-foot villa is actually on his property on the Las Vegas strip. It overlooks the 18th hole of his championship golf course, offering stunning views of the course’s breathtaking waterfall, according to the Architectural Digest.
“The villa was created by conjoining, then reconfiguring, two VIP guesthouses on the fairway. ‘Inserting the central staircase,’ [executive vice president and design czar at Wynn Enterprises Roger] Thomas says, ‘was our greatest engineering challenge, but because the site abuts a very high-end hotel, we also had serious constraints on raising dust or noise. The whole project was conceived in four months and executed in five—working limited hours.’ As the only enclosed space in the villa, the dramatic center stair hall was mirrored to maximize the light. It unites an open living area on the lower story with a sybaritic master suite above. The pool terrace and the private balcony enjoy a romantic view: emerald greenery misted by the spray of a majestic waterfall (a refreshing final challenge for the golfers).”
Wynn also has an art collection fit for a king.
He is the owner of Pablo Picasso’s “Le Reve,” which is said to be worth $60 million. He is also thought to own J.M.W. Turner’s “Giudecca, La Donna Della Salute and San Giorgio” which is worth an estimated $35.8 million.
In 2011, he purchased four Chinese porcelain vases for $12.8 million, according to the Las Vegas Sun.
He previously owned a Vincent Van Gogh piece called “Peasant Woman Against a Background of Wheat,” which has an estimated value of $47.5 million. He sold it to Kenneth Griffin in 2004.
5. He Earned $28.2 Million in 2016
According to CNN Money, Wynn’s earnings for the year 2017 have not yet been made available. However, he earned a whopping $28.2 million in 2016, bringing his five-year earning total to approximately $111.6 million.
Wynn’s contract is set through 2022, but now that he has resigned, it’s unclear how the company will move forward with his salary. It is presumed that his contract will be void and that he will earn some sort of other severance package, despite the decision to resign being his own.
“If he is terminated by Wynn Resorts “without cause” he would be owed “three times the salary and bonus that would be payable during the remaining term of the contract,” according to company filings. That should come to about $247 million. Other executives who have lost jobs due to allegations of sexual harassment and left their companies ‘without cause’ and collected large severance packages. For example, former Fox News President Roger Ailes received $47 million in severance when he left 21st Century Fox in the wake of sexual harassment allegations, according to court filings,” reports CNN Money.