GOP Governors Group to Return $100,000 in Donations From Steve Wynn Firm

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WASHINGTON—The Republican Governors Association has decided to give back $100,000 in donations from

Steve Wynn’s

company and cut other financial ties with the casino mogul, in the wake of a Wall Street Journal report on allegations describing a decadeslong pattern of sexual misconduct by Mr. Wynn.

“These are serious allegations,” said a written statement issued Monday by the governors’ group. The RGA also said it canceled its contract with

Wynn Resorts

to hold its 2020 annual conference at the Wynn Las Vegas.

The RGA, which is a major source of campaign support for GOP gubernatorial candidates across the country, had made a $10,000 nonrefundable deposit payment in signing the contract to hold its conference at the Las Vegas resort and said it will “incur a large financial penalty” for canceling the contract.

The action was the latest in a series taken by Republicans and party officials to gain some distance from Mr. Wynn, who stepped down from his post as Republican National Committee finance chairman over the weekend. In response to the allegations reported in the Journal, Mr. Wynn said it was “preposterous” that he would assault a woman.

The RGA said Monday that it wouldn’t accept future contributions from Mr. Wynn or Wynn Resorts “unless the allegations against Mr. Wynn are proven false.”

Michael Weaver,

a spokesman for Wynn Resorts, said the company doesn’t have a comment on the RGA’s move.

Over the weekend, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker called on the RGA to return all the donations it had received from Mr. Wynn’s company for the past three years.

That period of time doesn’t include Oct. 1, 2014, when Mr. Wynn’s company contributed $2 million to the RGA to help elect Mr. Baker that November, according to a Page One article in the Journal on Dec. 29, 2017.

On the same day the RGA received the $2 million donation, the governor’s group gave $1.1 million to a super PAC in Massachusetts that was seeking to help Mr. Baker’s campaign, according to Internal Revenue Service filings. Eight days later, the RGA contributed another $1.1 million to the pro-Baker group, the filings show. In all, the RGA contributed nearly $11 million to the pro-Baker group, including $5.7 million in October.

In the Journal article, Mr. Wynn and the RGA denied that the donation was intended to help Mr. Baker. Republican officials said the Wynn Resorts money was intended to help the Republican candidate in Michigan. In an interview, Mr. Wynn said he “didn’t know Charlie Baker was running” for governor.

Mr. Wynn’s casino company also contributed $3 million that month—October 2014—to help defeat a referendum on the Massachusetts ballot that election that would have outlawed casinos in the state. At the time, Wynn Resorts was seeking to finalize plans to build a Massachusetts casino.

In all, Mr. Wynn’s company has donated nearly $3 million to the RGA over the past 18 years.

The RGA said in its Monday statement that it won’t return most of the money because it has been spent. The money “no longer exists, and therefore can’t be returned,” the RGA said.

Write to Janet Hook at and Brody Mullins at

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