Wynn’s name set to re-emerge after $50M hospital donation By John L. Smith, CDC Gaming Reports March 24, 2021 at 7:00 pm Scandalized former casino mogul Steve Wynn has found a place where they welcome his name on a building. It didn’t come cheap. Wynn has announced he’s donating $50 million toward the construction of a new hospital in downtown Utica, New York. The hospital, owned by the Mohawk Valley Health System, will bear his name. The donation announcement comes at a time Wynn is still battling the fallout from withering sexual misconduct allegations first published in January 2018 in The Wall Street Journal. Although he has vehemently denied the allegations, in their wake, he quickly resigned as chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts International, sold his stock, and retreated from the gaming industry spotlight. Former gaming executive Steve Wynn The fallout from the allegations included multimillion-dollar fines for the company in Nevada and Massachusetts and the removal of the Wynn name from the shimmering new casino-resort now called Encore Boston Harbor. The University of Pennsylvania in 2019 removed plaques that referenced “Wynn Commons” from an outdoor plaza on campus. It was reported in 2019 that Wynn corporate executives helped hide the sexual misconduct allegations. Wynn and his insurance carriers eventually paid $41 million to settle stockholder lawsuits stemming from the sexual misconduct allegations. Meanwhile, Wynn Resorts battled to keep its gaming licenses in Massachusetts and Nevada before being battered along with the rest of the gaming industry during the coronavirus pandemic. Wynn’s Massachusetts licensing process has raised questions of propriety and it has fielded rumors of a potential sale. After a licensing process “riddled with controversy,” as Forbes contributor Walter Pavlo put it, Massachusetts Gaming Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby resigned amid claims he had played favorites for Wynn. Wynn retreated from the industry but hasn’t backed away in court. Multiple litigations associated with the sexual misconduct claims were filed, and Wynn won a temporary victory in October when the Nevada Supreme Court reinstated a defamation lawsuit he filed against The Associated Press over an article published in February 2018. Upon the decision, Wynn attorney Tamara Beatty Peterson said her client was pleased and “looks forward to vindicating his reputation.” That court battle continues. Seeing his name once again on the side of a building and off the front pages can’t hurt. In the long run, it may be worth more than $50 million. It might not be the last PR boost we see coming from his comeback committee. Despite his setbacks, according to Forbes, Wynn’s current net worth exceeds $3.2 billion. The Mohawk Valley Health System is the parent company of several hospitals in the region. According to the company’s statement, the gift from the Wynn Family Foundation “will further transform healthcare” in the area. As the largest gift in the company’s history, it “will directly support services for the new regional medical center in downtown Utica and allow MVHS to invest in innovation, technology, and services beyond what was originally possible. Company CEO Darlene Stromstad said the gift will help thousands of patients each year. “The funds will elevate The Wynn Hospital to greater heights and result in important service enhancements and lifesaving outcomes. I can’t thank the Wynn family enough for making this level of investment in the region, its people, its local families, and its crucially important healthcare.” For his part, Wynn waxed nostalgic about his youth spent in part in Utica. “I have everlasting and fond memories of my childhood in the community, which provided a strong foundation for the rest of my life,” he said without irony. “This is my way of thanking the community and recognizing my parents.” Wynn’s parents, Zelma and Michael Wynn, operated a bingo parlor in Utica. Wynn graduated from private academy The Manlius School in 1959 and still owns a home in Old Forge in New York’s Adirondacks, according to a published report. Its location was just across the street from the building that will bear his name. John L. Smith is a longtime Las Vegas columnist and author. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter: @jlnevadasmith.