Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Steve Wynn

Stephen Alan Wynn, born Stephen Alan Weinberg, is an American business mogul. Now in his early 70s, Steve Wynn played a major role in the 1990s resurgence of the Strip, a stretch of property south of the Las Vegas, Nevada, city limits. His companies built or refurbished several luxury hotels and casinos including the Bellagio, Encore, Golden Nugget, Mirage, Treasure Island and Wynn.

As the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chairman of the Board for Wynn Resorts, he developed Wynn Las Vegas and Encore at Wynn in Las Vegas as well as Wynn Macau and Encore at Wynn Macau in the Peoples Republic of China. With an estimated net worth of $2.8 billion, Wynn is among the 500 wealthiest men in the world.

Wynn Luxury Resorts

Wynn was born in New Haven, Connecticut, and grew up in the state of New York. His father, Michael Wynn, owned a string of bingo parlors in several eastern states. According to “The Times”, a British daily newspaper, Wynn’s father changed the family name from Weinberg to Wynn in 1946 to avoid anti-Jewish discrimination.

After his father’s death in 1963, Wynn took over the family bingo operations. His financial success allowed him to invest in The New Frontier, a former Las Vegas hotel and casino, as well as company that imported wine and liquor. Eventually, he gained controlling interest in the Golden Nugget hotel and casino. His next projects were the Mirage, Treasure Island and Bellagio, which spawned new luxury developments like Mandalay Bay, The Venetian and Paris Las Vegas.

Wynn Legal Battles

Wynn has endured several legal battles through the years. Donald Trump, another American business mogul, sued Wynn for hiring a private investigator to secretly record his conversations. The lawsuit involved an attempt by the Mirage to build a casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Not only did Wynn settle the lawsuit in 2000, but he also befriended Trump. “The Donald”, as Trump is commonly called, attended Wynn’s wedding in 2011.

When Dennis Gomes, the president of the Golden Nugget, joined Trump’s Taj Mahal nearly ten years earlier, Wynn sued Gomes and Trump for breach of contract. Gomes countersued Wynn for the use of harsh language against him, which Wynn denied. Gomes settled the lawsuit in 1994.

Since 2008, Wynn has been involved in a dispute with Joe Francis, the producer for “Girls Gone Wild”, an adult entertainment company. The Las Vegas district attorney prosecuted Francis for writing a bad check to cover a high-dollar gambling debt to Wynn. Although the criminal case was dropped, Wynn collected the debt in a civil case. Wynn twice sued Francis for defamation when the producer twice alleged that Wynn threatened to kill him. A jury awarded Wynn millions of dollars in damages.

Recent legal battles include a 2012 lawsuit by Kazuo Okada, a former business partner of Wynn’s. The suit involved a multi-million dollar pledge to the University of Macau Development Foundation. Wynn accused Okada of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, leading to a United States Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation. In 2013, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) concluded the investigation with no enforcement action against Wynn and his luxury resorts.


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