Nobody likes being around poor people: Casino CEO

Macau hit by gambling crackdown

Casino owner Steve Wynn seems to have crapped out with some recent comments he made about the poor.

Wynn, the CEO of Wynn Resorts (WYNN), said during his company’s investor day presentation late Wednesday that wealthy gamblers who come to his high-end casinos don’t want the less fortunate hanging around with them.

“Rich people only like being around rich people,” he said. “Nobody likes being around poor people, especially poor people.” Wynn added that he was trying to make his company like a Chanel or Louis Vuitton of the gambling world.

Wynn Resorts was not immediately available for further comment about Steve Wynn’s remarks.

But Wynn is notoriously outspoken and no stranger to controversy. A Democrat, Wynn told investors during a conference call in 2011 that the Obama administration is “the greatest wet blanket to business, progress and job creation” in his lifetime.

Related: Nevada casinos hit by massive losses

And in 2014, Wynn had a feud with Hollywood star George Clooney after Clooney claimed that Wynn called Obama an “a–hole.” Wynn has denied he said that.

Wynn’s most recent controversial remarks come at an interesting time for the company though.

Wynn Resorts has beaten long odds to be one of the hottest stocks of 2016.

Shares are up nearly 45% — despite continued weakness at its casino in the Macau region of China and sluggish demand in Las Vegas.

Related: Macau’s economy shrank 20% in 2015

There has also been a nasty battle for control of the company between him and his ex-wife — former board member Elaine Wynn. Steve Wynn, who founded the company, has traded barbs with his ex-wife in court documents and press releases for many weeks.

But Wynn Resorts has a long way to go before it gets anywhere close to the lofty levels it traded at just a few years ago. The stock plunged nearly 25% in 2014 and lost more than half its value last year.

So Wynn Resorts still faces long odds — especially since it has some ambitious expansion plans that could take a bite out of profits.

Wynn Resorts has a second casino in Macau opening later this year. It is also developing a casino just outside of Boston and announced plans for yet another casino in Las Vegas — complete with a 38 acre lagoon, beach and boardwalk.

No word yet on whether or not tourists and Sin City residents will need to verify that they have a seven-figure income before setting foot on that boardwalk though.

comments powered by Disqus