Casino mogul Wynn resigns amid sex misconduct claims

Steve Wynn during a news conference in Medford Mass

Steve Wynn during a news conference in Medford Mass

Wynn continues to deny the allegations, but said in a statement that he is stepping down from his company because of the "avalanche of negative publicity".

Shares in Wynn Resorts, worth around $17 billion, have tumbled almost 20 percent since the Journal report on Jan 26.

Gaming Commission Chairman Steve Crosby said last week that those working in Everett to build the casino should "feel fine" carrying on with their jobs.

The news comes as the fate of the Everett casino, and Wynn's license, hangs in the balance. It referred to him as "an industry giant.a philanthropist and a beloved leader and visionary".

Late last month, the Wall Street Journal reported on sexual misconduct allegations against Steve Wynn over the course of at least two decades.

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"The succession plan laid out by the board of directors and which I wholeheartedly endorse now places Matt Maddox in the CEO seat".

Wynn, which derives more than three-quarters of its revenue from the Chinese gambling hub, is planning an expansion in Macau and is expected to seek the renewal of a concession contract from the Macau government that expires in 2022.

Wynn - a billionaire with a net worth of $3.3 billion as of Tuesday, according to Forbes - had in January resigned as the finance chairman of the Republican National Committee in the US after a slew of sexual harassment allegations surfaced.

"I want to thank all of the employees who have made Wynn Resorts the most admired resort company in the world, and for the support I have received from them in recent weeks", he said. After the damning accusations first dropped, the company announced they would assemble a committee of independent directors to look into the alleged misconduct. It claims "Wynn knowingly and intentionally breached his fiduciary duties by engaging in a pattern of intentional egregious misconduct and violations of law involving Wynn Resorts".

The $2.4 billion Everett casino is set to be completed in 2019.

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Prior to working for Wynn, the Las Vegas-based executive worked in corporate finance for Caesars Entertainment and was also a banker for Bank of America Securities according to his biography on Wynn's website.

The Hong Kong-listed company said that Mr Maddox has been appointed as the new CEO, while Allan Zeman has been named non-executive chairman.

Gaming regulators in Nevada and MA are investigating the allegations. Wynn continues to own about 12 percent of Wynn Resorts stock.

The stock climbed $14.85, or 9.1%, to $178.02 in pre-market trading Wednesday after declining 1.4% on the previous day.

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