Casino mogul Steve Wynn loses to the house: Gives up severance pay, perks in separation deal

The separation deal, which came into effect on February 15, comes a week after Wynn agreed to relinquish control of a minority stake in Wynn Resorts held by his ex-wife, ending a six-year court battle

PUBLISHED : Monday, 19 February, 2018, 9:18pm
UPDATED : Monday, 19 February, 2018, 9:18pm

Steve Wynn, ex-chairman and chief executive of Wynn Resorts and Hong Kong-listed Wynn Macau, will not receive any severance payments and many of his benefits will cease, after the casino mogul entered a separation agreement with the company.

Wynn Macau on Monday posted a filing on the Hong Kong stock exchange, quoting extracts from a Form 8-K filed to the Securities and Exchange Commission in the US by its controlling stakeholder Wynn Resorts. Wynn Resorts owns 72 per cent of Wynn Macau’s issued share capital.

According to the filing, the disgraced former executive will receive no compensation or severance pay for his resignation earlier this month stemming from sexual assault allegations from former and current employees, charges which he denies.

The separation agreement is effective from February 15.

Wynn is just one of a growing list of influential men, which includes US film producer Harvey Weinstein and Hollywood actor Kevin Spacey, who have been accused of sexual misconduct.

The sexual misconduct scandals have since sparked the international social media movement “Me Too”, where both women and men claiming to be victims of sexual misconduct have come forward to share personal stories.

Embattled casino mogul Steve Wynn gives up fight for ex-wife’s stake in firm, ending six-year court battle

The filing also stated that Wynn Resorts entered into a registration rights agreement with Wynn: In the event that the latter is permitted and elects to sell his shares, he will reimburse the company for its expenses. Under the agreement, the tycoon may not sell more than one-third of the company’s shares during any quarter.

The separation deal also prevents Wynn from competing against the company for two years and requires him to provide “reasonable cooperation and assistance in litigations, arbitrations and investigations by the company and its board of directors or committees”.

Other terms include the lease termination of Wynn’s personal residence at the Wynn Las Vegas on June 1. Wynn’s health care coverage will also lapse at the end of this year, as will administrative support on May 31, according to the filing.

Last week, Wynn agreed to relinquish control of a minority stake in Wynn Resorts held by his ex-wife Elaine Wynn, ending a long legal dispute between the two over her 9.4 per cent stake in the company. A 2010 stockholders agreement between Wynn, his ex-wife and Wynn Resorts co-founder Kazuo Okada supposedly allowed Wynn to control the trio’s shares to prevent takeover bids.

The agreement had been contested by Wynn’s ex-wife since 2012, who submitted a judicial admission that the 2010 agreement was invalid and unenforceable.

Following the relinquishing of control over Elaine Wynn’s shares, the casino mogul’s holdings control over Wynn Resorts will fall to 11.8 per cent.