Las Vegas Casino Billionaire Steve Wynn Divorcing 1

Las Vegas bigwigs Steve Wynn and Elaine Wynn, married since 1963, are divorcing for the second time. Divorce papers were filed in Clark County, Nevada this month and have been sealed.

Steve Wynn is a larger-than-life personality in Las Vegas. He is largely responsible for the growth of The Strip in the 1990’s, developing properties such as the Mirage, Treasure Island and Bellagio before selling to MGM. He then began developing uber-luxurious Wynn Resorts properties.

Elaine Wynn is a director on the Wynn Resorts board and was active in designing the resorts as well as choosing which retail stores would have a place in their resorts. She has been active in her husband’s businesses since at least 1976.

The couple married after Steve Wynn graduated college in Philadelphia. They divorced in 1986, although Steve Wynn has been quoted as saying that he never moved out of the house. They re-married in 1991. The couple has two grown daughters.

Such a lengthy marriage plus a fortune built from the ground up during that time will undoubtedly result in a huge divorce settlement or award. It appears that, at least for business purposes, the couple may actually have the much-heralded “amicable split.” Elaine Wynn was re-nominated for new term as director of the company the week after the divorce filing.

The Wynns own 21 percent (more than 24 million shares) of Wynn Resorts. While the shares (like the rest of Vegas and the rest of the market) are down, those 24 million shares are still worth about $500 million. There are almost certainly many other marital assets to be distributed. Their net worth is estimated at $1.5 billion. Marital assets will likely be divided equally, as Nevada is a community property state.

Rumors have been rampant that Steve Wynn has been carrying on an affair with British socialite Andrea Danenza Hissom recently. If the rumors are true, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Steve Wynn make a very, very generous settlement offer to his wife, both for personal reasons and for business reasons. Wynn Resorts’ shareholders will want to see the former couple continue to function well together in the boardroom – leaving any drama at home.

Steve Wynn is represented by prominent Las Vegas divorce attorney James Jimmerson. Elaine Wynn is represented by Reno attorney Gary Silverman, who is currently also representing Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons in a messy divorce. Additional counsel for Elaine Wynn is, interestingly, Don Schiller. Schiller, a Chicago family law attorney, previously represented Juanita Jordan in her high stakes divorce from basketball superstar Michael Jordan.

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