Steve Wynn: casinos Magnate

Steve WynnIt’s almost impossible to talk about the Las Vegas casinos without mentioning Steve Wynn. A major player in the sector, Steve Wynn, an American billionaire and citizen of Monaco, owns several casinos including the most famous in the world.

His early life

Steve Wynn was born on the 27th of January 1942. His father, Michael Weinberg (he changed this name later) owned a chain of bingo halls in the eastern United States so the young Steve grew up in the world of casinos. In 1963 he received a degree in English from the University of Pennsylvania and when his father died just a few weeks before his graduation, it was taken for granted that he would take over running the chain of bingo halls. Wynn, an excellent strategist who was very much at ease in the sector quickly made large profits. His first major personal investment was the purchase of a suite in the prestigious New Frontier in Las Vegas and he moved in there in 1967 with his wife Elaine. So at the age of just 25, he was preparing to revolutionise the Vegas gaming industry.

The Golden Nugget and his first success

A born gambler, Wynn took a chance in 1970 when he used the profit from a major property deal to purchase the Golden Nugget, a hotel- casino that was in terrible condition at the time. However, Wynn believed that with its excellent situation in the centre of town that he could turn it into the new main attraction for gamblers from all over the world. Just a few months after being completely renovated and re-launched the hotel was a major success. The Golden Nugget attracted Americans and high rollers from all over the world. So Steve Wynn’s first main bet paid off and formed a solid base for his emerging empire.

Steve Wynn’s Progress

Full of plans young, intrepid Steve launched his first main casino project on the Strip. He didn’t do things by half, the Mirage was to be super sized and was to set the bar for an over the top Las Vegas. The complex which opened in 1989 has 3000 luxury rooms, a working artificial volcano, an interior forest and a 90 000 litre aquarium. Most of the interior is in marble and all this luxury came at a total cost of 730 million dollars. At the time many thought the project was mad, too ambitious and over the top … doomed to failure but once again Wynn triumphed when the Mirage was a huge success and quickly became profitable. In 1993 Wynn repeated his success with the Treasure Island which cost “just” 450 million dollars but his major coup was building the Bellagio Casino. Opened in 1999, this mythical hotel-casino revolutionised the design of future Vegas casinos. Once again, Steve Wynn went for complete luxury in the 1.6 billion dollar complex including an artificial lake with “dancing fountains”, and interior garden, an art gallery, a huge shopping centre and of course an immense 10 776 square metre casino. It was a huge success and drew large crowds.

Wynn Resorts Limited and International Expansion

Wynn, who had been “just” a millionaire up to then, sold Mirage Resorts to the MGM group for 6.6 billion dollars. The sale meant that he entered the “billionaires’ circle” and he created Wynn Resorts Limited so that he could carry out another one of his grandiose projects : the Wynn Las Vegas which cost 2.5 billion dollars and opened on the Strip in 2005. An extension to the gigantic 4700 room, luxurious, nature themed complex was added in 2008. When Macau opened up to casino gaming, Steve Wynn invested in the Asian market by building the Wynn Macau in 2006. It was built in the style of its Vegas counterpart and its construction made Steve Wynn one of the world’s greatest casino tycoons. Steve Wynn is an avid collector of art. His collection includes works by famous artists : Van Gogh, Manet, Picasso and Warhol. He suffers from Retina Pigmentosa and is very much involved in research and the battle against this disease.