Gaming Control Board pushes back against Steve Wynn’s motion to dismiss complaint

The Nevada Gaming Control Board has asked its regulatory counterpart to reject Steve Wynn’s attempt to sidestep a complaint that would declare him unsuitable to hold a state gaming license.

The opposition document, filed Wednesday, is the latest maneuver in the legal tug-of-war between Nevada gaming regulators and the disgraced casino mogul. Wynn resigned as chairman and chief executive officer of Wynn Resorts after sexual misconduct allegations against him surfaced in early 2018.

In October, the Gaming Control Board lodged a complaint describing Wynn as someone who is “not a person of good character, honesty, and/or integrity” and, therefore, is “unsuitable to be associated with a gaming enterprise or the gaming industry as a whole.”

Wynn fired back earlier this month with a motion to dismiss the filing and argued the board was overstepping its statutory authority because he’s no longer part of his namesake company.

The Gaming Control Board disagrees. Attorney General Aaron Ford — who authored the latest filing on behalf of the board — wrote that the “legislature’s definition of suitability has no nexus to the person’s temporal connection to a particular licensee.”

Nevada law governing such investigations doesn’t use the word “jurisdiction,” set a time limit or “hamstring” it to employment status, Ford wrote.

“Wynn seems to argue that he can unilaterally cut-off this Commission’s subject matter jurisdiction by leaving Wynn Resorts, but no section of the Gaming Control Act supports his premise,” the filing states. “Indeed, an analogous provision is to the contrary — a licensee’s surrender of his license is only effective when the Commission accepts it.”

As Wynn’s exit from his casino empire nears its two-year anniversary, state gaming officials continue to deal with the aftermath while trying to ward off similar incidents in the future. The Gaming Commission assessed a record-setting $20 million fine on Wynn Resorts earlier this year for failing to properly investigate the harassment allegations.

And last week the commission approved a regulation amendment that aims to bolster protections against workplace harassment and discrimination.