Steve Wynn: “Nobody likes being around poor people, especially poor people”

Billionaire Steve Wynn lit a fire Wednesday during a presentation to investors.

First, the casino magnate and founder of Wynn Resorts said that his company is like a luxury brand that focuses on people with money, according to CNBC.

“This company caters to the top end of the gaming world,” he said. “We’re sort of Chanel or Louis Vuitton, to use the comparison, the metaphor of the retail business. But unlike Chanel and Louis Vuitton, we are able in our business to cater to all of the market. By making our standards so high…that everybody wants to be in the building.”

Nothing too surprising there. It’s a pretty common business model. But he clarified that statement with a more controversial addendum:

“Rich people only like being around rich people,” he said. “Nobody likes being around poor people, especially poor people.”

And the pitchforks come out!

Still, what he meant is essentially true, although he phrased it rather thoughtlessly. The rich tend to live within their own bubble and associate with their peers. However, the less fortunate often strive and imitated the class directly ahead of them. Ironically, an old school academic Marxist might have said the same thing.

Of course, it’s really the positive emotion behind the statement that has really got Picasso-collecting Wynn in hot water.

“We try and make the place feel upscale for everyone. That is to say we cater to people who have discretion and judgment and we give them a choice and we are consistent in that,” Wynn added.

See anyone is welcome! Sort of…