Could Mohegan Sun end up benefiting from Steve Wynn’s fall from grace? That question might be answered in a courtroom.
Mohegan’s plans for a Suffolk Downs casino died in September 2014 when the state gaming commission chose Wynn Resorts for the Greater Boston license. That decision started a legal fight that continues to this day, as Mohegan seeks to get the Wynn license negated. Mohegan’s argument: The fix was in for Wynn.
Lawyers for both sides have been trading briefs in Suffolk Superior Court. Mohegan’s lawyers contend the commission improperly overlooked criminal backgrounds of two former investors in the Everett site for the Wynn casino, among other things, and that Wynn received an unfair advantage during the final review of both proposals. Commission lawyers, meanwhile, claim Mohegan hasn’t offered proof of favoritism and is instead asking a judge to second-guess the commission’s decision-making.
Then, a new variable entered the legal saga: the sexual harassment claims against Steve Wynn that prompted him to resign as CEO. Both sides were gearing up for oral arguments in April. But they now will wait to see what happens with the gaming commission’s review of the new claims against Wynn. That April court date likely becomes a status update, not a legal slugfest.
Construction is well under way in Everett, and it’s hard to envision that grinding to a halt. But these are serious claims being leveled against Steve Wynn, still a significant shareholder in the company. It’s a safe bet that Mohegan’s legal team will try to use this turn of events to its advantage.Jon Chesto can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @jonchesto.