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Swirling Wynns

Encore Boston Harbor. (Photo By Jim Mahoney)

Shareholder lawsuit against resort giant moving forward, roller coaster share prices

By JOSH RESNEK

For those of you who follow the stock market’s ups and downs, the past few weeks have seen the decline in the price of Wynn stock.

If you own Wynn stock, then you have experienced rather wide highs and lows during the past year.

Obviously, the close down of casinos and their hotels did not help stock prices during the pandemic.

But the pandemic is over – at least it seems to be over – except for those who refuse to get vaccinated.

The so-called variant virus is now attacking those who have not been vaccinated, and this includes younger people and children of school age.

The variant is attacking even those who have been vaccinated.

This could be problematic for the casino industry. Uncertainty does not allow for stock prices to surge.

Wynn’s stock price has been going down.

It nearly touched its one-year low Tuesday at $98.75.

The upward surge that saw it at $114 just a few weeks ago has disappeared or coalesced, however, an investor wishes to view the situation.

Wynn’s 52 week high is $143.00 per share.

Its low is $98.32 Causing the stock price to waffle a bit is a lawsuit by Wynn shareholders now moving forward in the courts in Nevada. Shareholders are suing Wynn alleging that what the company said and did are two very far apart from the reality of the situation that caused Mr. Wynn to step down from the company following revelations made in a Wall Street Journal report.

The allegations of sexual abuse and harassment by Wynn and his admission of paying off several women (one $7.5 million and two others) in return for their silence are given quite a go- ing over in the lawsuit.

The suit comes down to an examination of the Wall Street Journal report, how the Wynn company reacted to it. What the company said officially and what it knew and what the WSJ report inferred.

How all of this caused a steep decline in the price for Wynn stock, which was at $169.00 per share the day the world col- lapsed on Mr. Wynn in 2018, is a strong bone of contention for the plaintiffs seeking relief for their per-share price losses in the months that followed.

There are gems throughout a judge’s ruling recently made in this case.

One is that the defendants, Wynn, Matt Maddox Kim Sinatra, and others claimed they did not know about any alleged misconduct by Mr. Wynn, even after becoming aware of Mrs. Wynn’s allegations about her husband being made public. They claimed they did not know her allegations needed to be disclosed despite years of experience as a high-level casino executive.

Of special interest to Massachusetts gaming regulators is that Wynn is shown to have wanted to eliminate the distraction of allegations and continue about the business of running the company, and in so doing, he sought to conceal and to avoid disclosure of the allegations to eliminate distractions such as bad press, regulatory investigations, and civil lawsuits.

In the United States District Court in Nevada last week, Judge Andrew Gordon ruled against throwing out the lawsuit, but not entirely.

He also ruled for the (Wynn) defendants, in part, in a 42-page ruling.

The plaintiffs now have until September 3rd to shore up their case with something more than the Wall Street Journal in their hands.

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