Wynn Resorts Working Hard to Restore Company Image

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By Josh Resnek 

As the summer winds down and is rapidly coming to its inevitable end, Wynn Resorts is on the hustle to revamp its public persona and image.

It is a must do exercise for the world’s leading brand in casino/hotel development and management.

Why?

Investigations by government gaming commissions into Wynn’s difficulties in Boston that could be extreme and costly have spread to Las Vegas and to Macau. At the same time all the image changing is going on, the investigations are coming to their end.

In Boston, Las Vegas and Macau, where Wynn owns and manages some of the world’s major resorts, investigative reports and conclusions will be released before the end of the summer, according to gaming officials here in Massachusetts, Nevada and in Macau.

This could have a dramatic effect on Wynn Resorts, either way locally and in the broader view of the situation, internationally.

It is dramatic if the Massachusetts Gaming Commission’s findings allow Wynn Resorts to keep its Massachusetts license; dramatic if the license is taken away.

A detailed report in the Las Vegas Sun earlier this week indicates all the chips are on the table and the wagering for the $2.4 billion Massachusetts gambit in Everett is over for Wynn Resorts as the summer comes to an end.

Everyone is awaiting for the winning hands to be revealed in this high stakes poker game.

Wynn Resorts Ltd., the most luxurious brand on the Strip, has spent six months restoring the company’s image after allegations of sexual harassment against former chairman and CEO Steve Wynn prompted his resignation in February. The company also hopes distancing the company from the man will preserve its $2.4 billion investment in Massachusetts, it was reported in the Las Vegas Sun.

The heat is on, according to the Las Vegas Sun.

In the past six months, Wynn has:

■ Chased Steve Wynn off the property and out of the company before due process was completed.

■ Settled legal disputes with Aruze Corp. and Elaine Wynn to get itself out of potentially expensive court battles.

■ Added three highly qualified women to its corporate board of directors, moving the company from one of the least diverse boards to one of the most diverse in the industry. At the same time, it agreed to provide a series of quarterly forums addressing women’s issues.

■ Removed — without much explanation — Executive Vice President Kim Sinatra, the company’s top lawyer, who was considered second-in-command behind new CEO Matt Maddox. It replaced her with Las Vegas gaming attorney Ellen Whittemore.

■ Appointed respected longtime gaming industry executive Phil Satre to chair the board of directors next year. Shortly after that, Maddox and a banking industry ally also were added to the board.

Will the moves be enough to satisfy investors who are expecting regulators in Nevada, Macau and Massachusetts to complete investigations into Steve Wynn and the company by the end of summer?

The day of reckoning is here.

Officials at the Gaming Commission insist publicly the long-awaited findings of its investigation will be announced at the end of summer.

In the meantime, Wynn Resorts stock has been jumping up and down, more down than up since Steve Wynn exited, since earnings reports, and given the unknown about legal matters coming to a boil.

Wynn Resorts stock price stood at $148.00 per share. Last month, it was near to 170.00 but dropped dramatically at the beginning of August. This comes against its 52 week high of $203 per share.

The market cap value of Wynn Resorts is $16.75 billion as the market opened Tuesday.

 

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