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Steve Wynn Steps Down As CEO Of Wynn Resorts

Former Wynn Resorts CEO Steve Wynn

A series of sexual assault and sexual misconduct allegations have left Wynn Resorts without its namesake. 

Steve Wynn stepped down Tuesday as CEO of his casino-resort empire, denying all wrongdoing but citing insurmountable negative publicity as his motive. 

“In the last couple of weeks, I have found myself the focus of an avalanche of negative publicity,” Wynn said in a prepared 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.”

The board of Wynn Resorts stated it "reluctantly announced today that it accepted the resignation of Steve Wynn as CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors," referring to him as an industry giant, philanthropist, beloved leader and visionary. The board appointed Matt Maddox, currently the company’s president, to be the new CEO, which Wynn appeared to support in his official statement.

Wynn’s resignation comes amid a flurry of allegations against the casino mogul for sexual misconduct. One entailed a $7.5M settlement with a manicurist at one of his Las Vegas hotels who said Wynn had forced her to have sex with him. Wynn and his lawyers attempted to hide the payment through a limited liability company separate from Wynn Resorts, and the entire scandal drew scrutiny from casino regulators in Nevada, Massachusetts and the Chinese territory of Macau. Wynn has denied all allegations, calling them "ludicrous." 

Wynn Resorts is underway with construction of the $2.4B Wynn Boston Harbor, and the Massachusetts Gaming Commission said it would review the company’s gaming license considering the allegations. Before Wynn stepped down, the MGC said it would monitor how the company conducted its own internal review in evaluating Wynn Resorts' ability to proceed with its project, the largest single-phase construction project in the New England state's history.

Trading in shares of Wynn Macau stock was halted Wednesday, according to a notice from the Hong Kong stock exchange.