Rarely does the billionaire hotel and casino baron Steve Wynn allow television interviews. He spoke frankly with Nightline’s Cynthia McFadden.
Wynn is a visionary and responsible for keeping the Las Vegas strip cutting edge, in this interview he discussed his newest hotel investment in Macau, his thoughts on Donald Trump, his gambling-addicted father and his passion for art.
As icing on the cake, during the interview Steve’s wife Elaine Wynn will be revealing the Wynn diamond exclusively. The largest pear cut diamond in the world, it is 231 sparkling carats, carats which will be used to draw a crowd into Wynn’s Macau hotel in China.
We’ve got a teaser of the interview thanks to ABC News "Nightline."
On the Picasso Incident:
Steve Wynn: I was backing up telling the story and I was talking about the history of Le Reve and I remember I was close to the picture and as I turned to the right my elbow hit Marie Therese Valter right below her elbow on her forearm and there was a popping tearing, like shrink wrap [imitates the sound]. Everybody froze. I turned to my right, I was looking right at the tear and I said: OH MY GOD. I CAN’T BELIEVE I JUST DID THAT. Oh! [expletive] and I looked at it – they were frozen; nobody said a word. And I said: thank God it was me and not anyone else.
Cynthia McFadden: Well thank God!
Steve Wynn: I said: Thank God it was me and not anyone else and then I continued the story.
Cynthia McFadden: …of the history of the painting???
Steve Wynn: Yeah. It’s a painting. No one’s child has died, no one’s sick, no one’s got Alzheimer’s — it’s a painting, overpriced — a painting. But, we’ll fix it.
Cynthia McFadden: You have to be a very wealthy man to not fall on your knees crying on the floor at that moment, I think.
Steve Wynn: Over money? Nahhh…that’s no reason to fall on your knees.
On New Macau Hotel:
Steve Wynn: The size of the Macau market is extraordinary in terms of money. What’s not extraordinarily large is the amount of people coming to Macau. Macau is more like Atlantic City. There would be millions of people coming once or twice a year to Las Vegas. In Macau there might be 500,000 people coming 70 times. My best customers in Macau are there all the time. That’s the way it was in Atlantic City. That is to say the population of people that are going to Macau is small. The population that Macau serves is astronomical. The penetration of people in that huge market that are actually visiting Macau is a number that has been very small and is about to grow. And the future of that city will depend on that future widening.
On Wynn Diamond:
Cynthia McFadden: Is it bigger than the hope diamond?
Elaine Wynn: Yes.
Cynthia McFadden: It is?
Elaine Wynn: Yes.
Cynthia McFadden: It’s the biggest diamond
Elaine Wynn: It’s the biggest ol’ diamond that we know about and that we can get our hands on that is not in some institution. You know, privately held.
And you’ve seen it here for the first time — you’ve had a sneak preview. This is a scoop for you!
On Donald Trump:
Steve Wynn: Of all the things in the world that you can ignore it is what Donald Trump and I say about each other – you could certainly forget that. That is the sound of fury signifying nothing.
Steve Wynn: He’s a colorful, one-off personality. I think everyone in America would agree that there’s no one like Donald Trump that we’ve ever seen before. It’s doubtful that we’ll ever see it again. He’s bigger than life. He loves the role and the position he’s made for himself. He enjoys creating this caricature and he’s benefited from it and the more power to him for that.
Cynthia McFadden: So, fair to say that the two of you are cozy now?
Steve Wynn: Oh yeah. He’s going to be our neighbor across the street. He brings a little [shows one-two punch], listen, wherever this guy goes, one thing about the Trumpster he brings excitement, a lot of fanfare and ballyhoo. If you can’t do that in Las Vegas, where in the hell can you do it? So, welcome to town Donald. It’s nice to have you here. Stir up as much of a hornets nest as you can.
Wynn On Politics:
Steve Wynn: I particularly enjoy Michael Bloomberg. He’s a good friend of mine. I think he’s an extraordinarily capable man and whether its Mrs. Clinton, Barack Obama, Mitt Romney – a businessman, or Rudy Giuliani – who’s a terrific guy, or Michael Bloomberg, what America needs is competent leadership, competent management; people that can attract people to government that are bright, that can solve problems.
Elaine Wynn on Politics:
Cynthia McFadden: Politics. You are very publicly supporting Barack Obama this election. One of three people in the state to really speak for him when he’s not here; to represent him; to advocate for him. How did you come to your decision?
Elaine Wynn: I’m supporting him because I think he has the capacity for dynamic leadership. I think that he is intellectually gifted – his background testifies to that. I want to get behind a candidate who can espouse certain things that I believe in and express my moral support and get on the record and say: this is a guy as far as he can go is someone I can support.