Elaine Wynn Departs Company She Co-Founded; Ex-Husband Steve Wynn Cleared

It was a good week for the former Las Vegas super couple, Steve and Elaine Wynn. Steve will not be forever banned from gaming by Nevada regulators and Elaine exits the company board as the largest shareholder in good standing.

Elaine Wynn Departs Company She Co-Founded; Ex-Husband Steve Wynn Cleared

For the first time in its history, Wynn Resorts will not have someone named Wynn on its board. Last week, Elaine Wynn withdrew a request to the Nevada Gaming Control Board for a waiver that would have allowed her to continue on the board. Wynn Resort has an age limit to serve on the board, which Elaine Wynn passed earlier this year.

Although no longer in management, Wynn remains the largest shareholder of Wynn Resorts stock, owning almost 9 percent of the company. She founded the company in 2002 with her then-husband Steve Wynn, who was forced out of the company, selling all his stock, in 2018 following allegations of sexual misconduct with employees. Steve Wynn denied the allegations and nothing has ever been proved in court. The couple divorced in 2010 (for the second time) in a bitter split that saw Steve marry a much younger Andrea Hissom.

Last week, a Nevada judge ruled that state regulators could not move forward with their plans to permanently ban Wynn from the industry and impose heavy fines because they have no jurisdiction over him. When he exited the company he co-founded, he surrendered his gaming license as well.

Clark County District Court Judge Adriana Escobar’s said gaming regulators could no punish Wynn after his departure from the company.

“Because (Wynn) has no material involvement, directly or indirectly, with a licensed gaming operation, this court finds that respondents have no jurisdiction to impose discipline or fines against him,” Escobar’s ruling said.

As for Elaine Wynn, her departure signals the end of her control over the company. In 2019, she engineered the appointment of former Harrah’s CEO Phil Satre as chairman of the Wynn Resorts board and the appointment of Ellen Whittemore as general counsel. Both appointments blunted the regulators’ attempts to punish the company for Steve Wynn’s transgressions, allowing Wynn Resorts to move forward in Massachusetts and Macau.