Steve Wynn, big man in the casino world

There are quite a few famous people who can be linked to the gambling world and certainly to Las Vegas. Steve Wynn is one of them.

And not so much in a role as a gambler but especially because he managed to build large resorts and casinos in the gambling mecca and thus managed to put Las Vegas even better on the map as a place for the ultimate gambling and perfect stay.

Steve Wynn, of great significance to the casino world

Wynn knew to build large casinos that are very attractive to people all over the world but also combined this with a good stay and all kinds of other entertainment. Two famous resorts that are due to him are Mirage and Bellagio, known worldwide.

He created a positive image for the city that led more and more people to come there to gamble and not just link the city to criminal and illegal activities as used to be the case.

The young years of Steve Wynn

Don’t know Steve Wynn or maybe you’ve heard of the man but don’t know anything about his life and earnings? Then read through the following text so you know what he has meant to Las Vegas. By the way, Steve Wynn is not his real name, but he is known as such to the general public.

Steve Wynn was born Stephen Alan Weinberg on January 27, 1942, in New Haven, Connecticut. Because there was quite a bit of discrimination against Jews at the time, when Steve was four years old, his father decided to change the last name to Wynn to hide the family’s obviously Jewish roots. Young Wynn led a fairly carefree life in which he lacked nothing materially.

High school and study

To be able to send Wynn to the prestigious private school Manlius in New York, the family moved there. He got good grades and finished top of the class in 1959. After this he went to the University of Pennsylvania where he received a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature.

As he began his senior year, Wynn was not quite sure what he wanted to do. He had plans to study law until the news reached him that his father had died. This was already a big blow to him, but it turned out that his father also left behind a large gambling debt which was to be paid by his son.

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Wynn’s business decisions don’t put him out of business

As a result, Wynn took over the family business and tried to pay off his father’s debts. This took a few years and then it was time for him to start his own business. By now Wynn was married and he and his wife moved to Las Vegas in 1967.

His first achievement there was to purchase a stake in the Frontier Hotel and Casino. At the time, he was investing in a Las Vegas casino for the first time but it certainly wouldn’t be the last. He managed to make quite a bit of money and also owned a small business importing wine.

Purchase of shares in the Golden Nugget

With the money he made from it together, he bought shares in the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas. And so much so that he had quite a bit of say in the matter. He had a clear vision of what he wanted to do with the Golden Nugget.

He planned a complete renovation for the casino and wanted to turn it into a resort that would appeal to the affluent. The plan succeeded and people from all over the world flocked there. When he sold the Golden Nugget in 1987, it earned Wynn as much as $440 million dollars (about €380 million) so it can certainly be called a success.

Next was Mirage
The next big project was on the famous Strip in Las Vegas. Wynn’s goal was to make Mirage the casino on the Strip that everyone would talk about. It was a risky and expensive undertaking but it certainly paid off. When Mirage opened in 1989, there was so much enthusiasm for it that the expenses were quickly recouped and people came from far and wide for the South Pacific-themed casino.

The Strip and Las Vegas become popular as a vacation destination

As the other casinos on the Strip suffered under the enormous interest in Mirage, they were also forced to make the necessary renovations to keep up. Thus, the Strip slowly became an attractive destination for vacationers, and Wynn began building the first resort designed for families.

In 1993, he opened the Treasure Island Hotel and Casino, with a pirate theme. Thus, Las Vegas also became a popular vacation destination for families and no longer just attractive to gamblers. Of course you can gamble there but the hotel has a swimming pool and there is entertainment for children and these are just two examples of what you can do.

Monster project Bellagio costs something but it is worth it

After Treasure Island, Wynn began his most memorable project: the Bellagio. He set the bar high for the other casinos and the project cost a whopping $1.6 billion (almost €1.4 billion) but it’s a great deal. It opened in 1998 and is of course much more than just a casino and hotel. People come there for the fountains, the Renaissance theme and the botanical gardens, just to name a few of what there is to see and do.

Wynn Las Vegas and Encore

In 2005 the Wynn Las Vegas casino opened, also a mega expensive project and again this is much more than just a casino. You can also go shopping, see shows or play golf. It’s just what you like to do yourself of course. The latest achievement so far is the opening of Encore in 2008, based on the Wynn Las Vegas. Both casinos and resorts employ nearly 15,000 people so employment has been given a big boost.

Also active in other countries

Do you think Wynn is only active in Las Vegas? No way, because he has also made himself heard outside of Las Vegas. He has built casinos in Atlantic City (New Jersey), Biloxi (Mississippi) and Macau (China). Wherever they are located, they are all luxurious and there is much more to experience than just gambling.

Also known as a benefactor

Steve Wynn may be a billionaire, but he is also known as a benefactor. In 2011, he donated $2 million (€1.7 million) to a bank, which made it possible for two thousand families to receive a bank card at Christmas with a balance of $500 (about €430) per card. In June the following year, this action was repeated for two thousand other families who were able to use the money to pay bills or provide care for their children.

Donating for research

Since 2013 he has also donated $5 million (€4.3 million) annually for research into eye diseases. This is important to him because he suffers from a condition where his eyes get progressively worse and can eventually lead to tunnel vision or even complete blindness. Because he knows exactly how difficult it is when you have to deal with poor vision or eye problems, he hopes that the donation can make a difference and a cure for eye diseases will be found.

Donate to schools

He also regularly donates money to a foundation that provides schools throughout the United States with materials that students need but cannot purchase themselves because there is simply no money. This can include school supplies but the money is also used for clothing, hot meals and emotional help if needed.

Personal life

A few words about the personal life of Steve Wynn. He married Elaine in 1963 and together they had two daughters. After twenty-three years of marriage it was dissolved but less than five years later they married again. This time the marriage lasted another nineteen years but was again followed by a divorce that was final and cost Wynn quite a few millions. He then quickly found a new love in the twenty-one years younger Andrea Hissom. Together they undertake all kinds of fun things and enjoy life.

Lately in negative news

Wynn is known for his love of art. He runs numerous auctions to find art that fits well in one of his casinos and has very expensive works in his collection by famous painters such as Picasso, Monet and Van Gogh. He recently resigned as general manager, partly after several allegations of sexual harassment toward female employees. Although he denies it outright, it is suspicious that he is stepping down at this very moment, but what is true will remain guesswork.