Steve Wynn Resigns as CEO of Gambling Empire Amid Sex Misconduct Claims

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(Associated Press) - Steve Wynn has stepped down as CEO of the gaming empire he founded in the wake of a sex harassment scandal, the casino mogul and Wynn Resorts said in a joint statement tonight.

“In the last couple of weeks, I have found myself the focus of an avalanche of negative publicity,” Wynn was quoted as saying in the statement. “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.”

Wynn’s fall comes after a Wall Street Journal report last month, citing interviews with 150 current and former Wynn employees, that described a history of alleged sexual harassment, including a $7.5 million payment to a manicurist who claimed he had assaulted her. He had already stepped down as the GOP's top fundraiser.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission, which is investigating how its background check missed the allegations, said in a statement tonight: “The Commission has been made aware of Steve Wynn’s resignation as CEO and Chairman of Wynn Resorts. The Commission and MGC staff will now need to assess the overall impact and implications of this significant development, and the IEB (Investigations and Enforcement Bureau) will maintain its focus on the ongoing” probe.

Wynn Resorts said it “will continue to fully focus on its operations at Wynn Macau, Wynn Palace and Wynn Las Vegas; the development and opening of the first phase of Wynn Paradise Park, currently under construction on the former Wynn golf course (in Las Vegas); as well as the construction of Wynn Boston Harbor, which will open in (Everett) June 2019.”

Wynn Resorts said it’s board of directors has appointed Matt Maddox, currently president, as its CEO, and Boone Wayson as non-executive chairman, effective immediately.

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