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Gaming commissioners release Wynn legal agreement

Encore Boston Harbor is scheduled to open in June.
Encore Boston Harbor is scheduled to open in June.(David L. Ryan/Globe Staff/File)

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has released the legal agreement that will allow it to determine if Wynn Resorts is suitable to hold a license to operate the $2.6 billion casino being built in Everett.

The commission is finalizing its review in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations that forced casino mogul Steve Wynn to relinquish control of his Las Vegas-based company.

The agreement, released by the commission Thursday, resulted in the dismissal of a Nevada lawsuit Steve Wynn filed against the commission last year.

In the suit , Wynn alleged that certain documents the company turned over to investigators are protected by attorney-client privilege and should not have been shared. A Nevada judge recently put a temporary hold on the commission’s ability to release a public report that includes the disputed material.

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Now, the legal resolution ensures the commission has access to “critical investigative information and eliminated the uncertainty of prolonged litigation,” said Cathy Judd-Stein, the commission’s chairwoman, in a Thursday statement.

“Over the course of several executive sessions, the Commission conducted a meticulous and deliberate review of the legal complexities and investigative considerations involved in this matter,” she said.

With the public release of the resolution and the recent relevant meeting minutes, the commission is aiming to “share an understanding of its careful decision-making and seeks to underscore MGC’s commitment to a transparent process,” said Judd-Stein.

Massachusetts regulators launched an investigation into Wynn Resorts after a Wall Street Journal report in January 2018 detailed allegations of sexual misconduct against casino mogul Steve Wynn. Wynn has denied the misconduct allegations. He resigned from the company in February 2018.

Massachusetts investigators want to know who in the company knew about the allegations and what, if anything, they did about them. The conclusions of the state investigation have yet to be made public.

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But Elaine Driscoll, a spokeswoman for the gaming commission, said the commissioners will have the investigative report from the probe as soon as Friday. The report will be released to the public on the same day as the adjudicatory hearing for the Everett casino license, said Driscoll. A date has yet to be set for that hearing.

According to meeting minutes for a Feb. 20 executive session released Thursday, Loretta M. Lillios, the deputy director of the commission’s investigations and enforcement bureau indicated that the legal resolution to Wynn’s suit “preserved the Commission’s access to all of the crucial items obtained during the investigation.”

The commission on Thursday released minutes from six executive sessions that took place at the agency’s Boston office, as well as court documents from the Wynn case.

The meeting minutes included substantial redactions, something Judd-Stein said was necessary because the sessions included “a significant amount of attorney-client privileged communications.”

“[T]herefore, extensive but appropriate redactions are required for the public release of minutes,” she said in her statement.

Last month, the Massachusetts commission authorized its legal counsel to finalize an agreement with Steve Wynn to dismiss the Nevada lawsuit. At the time, specific terms weren’t disclosed, but the commission has said the deal would guarantee access to the report its investigators have compiled but have been unable to release.

In late February, Nevada gambling authorities levied a record $20 million fine against Wynn Resorts for mishandling sexual misconduct allegations against Steve Wynn.

The fine came as the Massachusetts Gaming Commission continued to weigh whether Wynn Resorts should still have a casino license in this state, given the sexual misconduct allegations against Wynn and questions about how the company dealt with the accusations.

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The Everett casino is slated to open in June.


Material from the Associated Press and previous Globe coverage was used in this report. Mark Arsenault of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Danny McDonald can be reached at daniel.mcdonald
@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @Danny__McDonald.