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July 28, 2014

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Wynn shoots back at brokers organization: ‘We don’t want (fans) exploited’

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Scott Harrison/Retna/www.harrisonphotos.com

Steve Wynn.

Usually Steve Wynn makes the news, but on rare occasions, we can bring the news to him. And during a phone conversation today, he listened for as long as he could tolerate to a reading of the National Association of Ticket Brokers statement charging that he was restricting the open market in his pursuit of brokers scalping Garth Brooks tickets.

At about the point where NATB General Counsel Gary Adler is quoted as saying, “It’s only going to hurt the fans who can’t find tickets, or are stuck with ones they can’t use,” Wynn had heard enough.

“They say they are representing the fans?” he said with a quick laugh. “Well, Garth Brooks and I don’t think so. I wonder if he (Adler) believes he’s helping the fans when he’s talking to himself in the mirror. Scalpers were selling tickets online for $700 the day of sale. Garth wants to protect his fans, and I’m with him. We don’t want them exploited. The price is $125, and nobody but us and Garth Brooks are going to make money.

“I’m jousting with ticket brokers. They are not going to sell them at a profit. Tough (stuff).”

Wynn also said he didn't realize there was a national organization representing ticket brokers, saying "news to me" when the NATB was described to him.

At one point, Wynn even roped in his legal counsel Kevin Tourek on a conference call so Tourek could read the Clark County ordinance aloud, seeming to relish the illegality of the scalpers’ practices.

“It’s not legal, and anyone who thinks this is legal is wrong,” Wynn said. “They are guilty of a misdemeanor if they do this.”

Wynn says he has been fighting scalpers since the early days of Siegfried & Roy’s performances at The Mirage. “We’ve been at this since the early ’90s, when fans were coming to us complaining about having to pay far above face value for Siegfried & Roy, and we proposed a (Clark County) ordinance to help us in trying to bring down these predatory practices,” Wynn said. “I’m not trying to bring down brokers who charge 10 or 20 percent (above face value) and are actually providing a service. We’re talking about people who try to sell these tickets at $700 apiece.”

Wynn said he’d spoken to Brooks directly on Monday about what’s happening with tickets. "Garth is fanatic about protecting his fans. Fanatic. It took me all summer to get him to agree to this ($125) ticket price.”

Wynn closed his pointed response by saying, “If you try to enter with a scalped ticket, you will be denied. If you have a ticket you want sold back to the hotel, we’ll take it back at face value. You won’t be stuck with it. But we’re going to stop these predators, believe me.”

Follow John Katsilometes on Twitter at twitter.com/JohnnyKats.

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