Gaming Commission plans to move forward with public hearings on Wynn casino license
State gambling regulators anticipate a lawsuit filed against them by former casino executive Steve Wynn to be formally dismissed in the coming days, clearing the way for public hearings to determine whether Wynn’s former company, Wynn Resorts, can demonstrate it remains suitable to hold a casino license in Massachusetts.
The company’s suitability was thrown into question more than a year ago, when the Wall Street Journal reported allegations of sexual misconduct by former employees against Steve Wynn, then CEO of Wynn Resorts. He has denied the allegations.
Gambling regulators in Nevada and Massachusetts swiftly launched investigations, and Steve Wynn resigned. The Nevada investigation found that some company executives failed to investigate allegations against Steve Wynn. Wynn Resorts says now that none of those people still work for the company.
Nevada regulators this week fined Wynn Resorts $20 million, but allowed the company to keep its license.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission’s investigation was delayed late last year when Steve Wynn sued state regulators and Wynn Resorts, claiming that certain documents Wynn Resorts gave to investigators were covered by attorney-client privilege and should not have been turned over. On Thursday, gaming commission chairwoman Cathy Judd-Stein said the lawsuit is being settled in a way that will allow the commission access to “all material and substantive information required to make a fully informed decision.”
The commission has not detailed the terms of the settlement.
Gaming commission executive director Ed Bedrosian said the commission will soon receive background information on new key figures in the Wynn Resorts organization – board members and high-level executives — whose personal fitness to hold a casino license will be under consideration. The commission’s investigators will then give the commission their report into the company’s handling of the allegations against Steve Wynn, which the five gaming commissioners have not yet seen.
The report will become public on the first day of public hearings on the company’s suitability. No hearing dates have been set.
Wynn Resorts is building a $2.6 billion hotel and casino in Everett, called Encore Boston Harbor. It is scheduled to open in June.