Elaine Wynn says she’s moving toward charity work

admin Contributor
Font Size:

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Elaine Wynn, wife of casino billionaire Steve Wynn, plans to shift away from the gambling company where her husband is CEO and focus her attention on charity work as the couple divorces for a second time.

Elaine Wynn said Thursday that her attention would have changed even without a settlement in which the pair split their shares in casino operator Wynn Resorts Ltd.

“I would have done it no matter what my circumstances were,” she told The Associated Press. “We’re not under construction, so a lot of the traditional things that I’ve done in the company before are not being called upon.”

Wynn Resorts opened the Encore Las Vegas casino in December 2008 and plans to open the $700 million Encore and Wynn Macau this year in China.

Elaine Wynn said she would keep her office and her role as hostess and stay accessible to employees of the Las Vegas-based company. She has long served on its board and was re-elected in May.

“The only changes that will occur will be changes that I choose to make based on how I want to live my life,” she said.

Elaine Wynn, chairwoman of national nonprofit Communities in Schools, called charity work her calling. The organization, which aims to help kids stay in school, is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has affiliates in 27 states.

She spoke with the AP the same day she announced she and Steve Wynn were jointly donating $1 million to hunger nonprofit Three Square for a weekend food program for more than 5,100 kids in 185 schools.

She emphasized the gift was from her and Steve Wynn together. Nonprofit officials who spoke about her Thursday still called her “Mrs. Wynn.”

Elaine Wynn declined to say whether the divorce has been completed. The case was filed in Las Vegas in March and sealed the same day, keeping it from public view.

She took sole control of more than 11 million shares on Wednesday — valued then at $741 million — under the settlement disclosed in regulatory filings. But she said neither the marriage’s dissolution nor the shuffle in shares will mean big changes for the company.

“We are still considerate of one another and how we work together, and that won’t change in the company either,” she said of her relationship with Steve Wynn.

The couple, who met in college, were married in 1963. They divorced in 1986, but remarried five years later. Elaine Wynn, a former beauty queen, is a regular at Las Vegas charity and social events.

Vogue magazine once called her “the unofficial queen of Las Vegas.”

The couple has two adult daughters, Kevyn and Gillian.

“Steve and I have been partners for over 40 years,” she said. “I don’t think there will ever be a time when he’s not my partner in some fashion or other.”