UPDATE 1-Wynn Resorts shares climb after Maddox moves into CEO slot

(Recasts; adds background, analyst comments)

Feb 7 (Reuters) - Wynn Resorts Ltd shares jumped 10 percent on Wednesday, as investors approved of the casino operator's decision to give company veteran Matt Maddox the top job, replacing casino mogul Steve Wynn who resigned following sexual misconduct allegations.

Wynn, 76, has denied the allegations. The casino titan, who owns about 12 percent of the company, stepped down as CEO on Tuesday.

Wynn's resignation removes some overhang from the stock, which has lost nearly a fifth of its value since Jan. 26 when reports of the allegations first surfaced, analysts said.

"The company's design quality is unlikely to be affected, which in part was based on an executive bench that included former president Matt Maddox, who now becomes CEO," said Morningstar analyst Dan Wasiolek, adding that Wynn's decision to resign could reduce the risk of tarnishing the company's brand.

"Our view that Wynn Resorts is likely to retain its gaming licenses is buoyed by Steve Wynn's removal ... given that gaming commission investigations of suitability appear to be centered on allegations against the company founder."

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has said it will investigate Wynn, who is building a $2.4 billion casino resort outside Boston.

"We believe it is important to highlight the strong, tenured management team Mr. Wynn leaves behind," Morgan Stanley analyst Praveen Choudhary said in a note.

Maddox, 42, has been with the company since it was founded 16 years ago and was named president in 2013. He has taken an increasingly active role in investor conference calls and discussions over business operations.

"WYNN continues to have operational presidents in both Las Vegas (Maurice Wooden) and Macau (Ian Coughlan), with Linda Chen president of marketing, and John Littell president of design and development," Choudhary noted.

Maddox moved to the Chinese-controlled territory of Macau soon after Wynn Resorts secured its concession there. Wynn Macau currently operates two lavish casinos in the casino hub and the business accounts for more than 70 percent of Wynn Resorts' revenue.

Still, Maddox has big shoes to fill.

Wynn started in Las Vegas casinos in the 1960s, creating some of Las Vegas' most iconic landmarks the Mirage, Bellagio and Treasure Island.

But he was forced to sell his multi-billion dollar operation Mirage Resorts to tycoon Kirk Kerkorian in a hostile takeover in 2000. Kerkorian then created MGM Mirage and Wynn went on to create Wynn Resorts in 2002.

Wynn's shares have risen more than 15-fold since its initial public offering in 2002.

"Wynn's value to the company is unarguably profound as its chief visionary and diplomat," Jefferies analyst David Katz said in a note.

"We do not believe the company can grow at the same trajectory nor can it maintain its cutting edge position." (Reporting by Rachit Vats and Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru and Farah Master in Hong Kong; Editing by Sayantani Ghosh)