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Casino regulator to take Steve Wynn case to Nevada Supreme Court

Updated December 2, 2020 - 4:28 pm

The Nevada Gaming Control Board will appeal a Clark County District Court ruling that says gaming regulators don’t have the authority to discipline former Wynn Resorts Ltd. CEO Steve Wynn.

In a matter that took just 60 seconds, the board voted unanimously to direct the Nevada Attorney General’s Office to appeal on the Control Board’s and Nevada Gaming Commission’s behalf a ruling from Clark County District Court ruling from Judge Adriana Escobar that says regulators don’t have the authority to pursue any action against the former Wynn executive.

The appeal will go to the Nevada Supreme Court.

The Control Board wasn’t expected to have a lengthy debate on the matter to prevent disclosing any legal strategies.

Escobar’s ruling said that regulators don’t have the authority to pursue any action against Wynn because he is no longer affiliated with the company.

The Control Board, in October 2019, filed a five-count complaint against Wynn for workplace sexual misconduct and sexual harassment of female company employees. Wynn has denied ever harassing anyone.

In an unprecedented move, the board sought to revoke Wynn’s findings of suitability, which would effectively take away Wynn’s license and would have likely banned him from being licensed within the state again. The complaint also encouraged Wynn to be fined.

The Nevada Gaming Commission reviewed the complaint in December 2019. Commissioners concurred that the complaint could be heard despite objections from Wynn’s attorneys that Wynn’s resignation from his position in February 2018 and the divestment of all his shares of Wynn stock a month later prevented regulators from punishing him.

In January, Wynn filed a petition that claimed state regulators did not have authority over him because he was no longer involved with Wynn Resorts. Escobar’s ruling was disclosed Nov. 20.

Nevada Gaming Control Board Chairman Brin Gibson, in his first Control Board meeting, immediately asked for a motion to consider the move and board member Terry Johnson obliged. Without discussion, the board unanimously approved the motion.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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