Steve Wynn Still Listing Wynn Resorts as Employer on Political Campaign Donation Forms
June 26, 2019
Disgraced billionaire Steve Wynn continues to make political donations with Wynn Resorts Ltd listed as his employer despite claims by company executives that he is longer affiliated with the casino operator.
According to campaign finance data from the US Federal Elections Committee (FEC), Mr. Wynn has made six individual contributions this year. Three list “Self-Employed” as his employer, while three others claim “Wynn Resorts Ltd.”
The billionaire founder of Wynn Resorts made three donations to the Republican National Committee (RNC) totaling $248,500, and three others to the National Republican Senate Committee (NRSC) totaling $150,000.
It’s the three donations to the NRSC where Mr. Wynn said he was employed by Wynn Resorts, and his title still chairman and CEO. The FEC said it was made aware of the contributions on April 23, 2019.
In a letter to employees dated April 3, 2018, Wynn Resorts CEO Matt Maddox wrote, “As you may know, Steve Wynn is no longer associated with Wynn Resorts.”
Wynn Resorts didn’t immediately respond to comment requests.
Following The Wall Street Journal’s January 2018 expose that revealed decades of alleged sexual misconduct by Steve Wynn, the casino visionary announced the following month he was resigning as chairman and CEO. However, he said he never acted inappropriately with female staffers, a position he has maintained to date.
Mr. Wynn sold off his entire 11.8 percent stake in Wynn Resorts in March 2018 for $2.1 billion.
Maddox, Wynn’s longtime right-hand man and protégé, said earlier this year that “Steve Wynn is not Wynn Resorts. This company is not about a man. It hasn’t been about a man for 18 years.”
To convince gaming regulators in Massachusetts, Wynn Resorts executives said they would be willing to place a ban on Mr. Wynn from stepping foot on its properties – three of which still bear his name.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission allowed Wynn Resorts to maintain its casino license for Encore Boston Harbor, but imposed a record $35.5 million fine for failing to disclose knowledge of the sexual misconduct allegations. The state concluded that Mr. Wynn no longer had any direct control over the company and was not “an officer or director.”
Las Vegas Politics
Casino billionaires in the country’s largest gaming hub have largely supported President Donald Trump. Las Vegas Sands Chairman Sheldon Adelson led the Republican Party with $82.58 million in contributions in 2016, and $123.25 million during the 2018 midterms.
Adelson and his wife Miriam have donated $10 million to Trump’s reelection super PAC, and Station Casinos owners Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta III have each given $1 million. Mr. Wynn wrote a check for $500,000, and Treasure Island owner Phil Ruffin directed $250,000 to the RNC.
However, several Las Vegas casino PACs are giving money to the Democrats. MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren – a registered Republican who supported Hillary Clinton in 2016 – said he’s backing former VP Joe Biden for 2020.
On the issues we care deeply about at a corporate level – diversity and inclusion, sustainability, community engagement – we have found more of an alignment with the current Democratic officials,” Murren told Bloomberg this week.
MGM’s political action committee has given $404,690 to Democratic candidates over the last decade, which is double the amount of money it has given to the GOP. Caesars Entertainment has also supported Democrats over Republicans since 2009 ($1 million to $825K).