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Wynn Investigation Results Pushed Again, December Hearing Planned

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) Investigations and Enforcement Bureau‘s investigation into sexual harassment allegations against former Wynn Resorts CEO Steve Wynn is just about done.

However, the MGC has decided not to do anything about it until December, after the midterm elections.

The MGC now plans to schedule a hearing sometime in early December to handle the results of the investigation. The hearing will also determine if the results impact Wynn Resorts’ suitability as a casino license holder in Massachusetts.

The investigation itself surrounds not only the allegations against Wynn, but whether Wynn Resorts kept pertinent information regarding the situation from the MGC in its previous look at Wynn Resorts’ suitability.

Encore Boston Harbor moves ahead

Of course, Wynn Resorts is currently in the latter stages of construction of its $2.5 billion Encore Boston Harbor casino-resort project in Everett. The company is still planning to open the casino in June 2019 and has been moving towards that end on several fronts.

However, if the MGC ultimately decides Wynn Resorts is not a suitable Massachusetts casino license holder, it will likely be forced to sell the almost-completed casino project.

Allegations against Steve Wynn

After the Wall Street Journal reported the allegations against the Wynn Resorts founder and CEO in January, Wynn stepped down as CEO. Wynn Resorts also tried to distance the Everett project from the situation by changing its name from Wynn Boston Harbor.

In late October, MGC executive director Ed Bedrosian told commissioners investigators are still finishing up a report. He also said they will be prepared to hand over a copy and present related exhibits in December. A redacted version of the report will also be released to the public at the hearing.

Wynn Resorts completed its own investigation into the allegations and presented to its board in August. The company did not publicly disclose its findings.

However, new Wynn Resorts CEO Matt Maddox has maintained that Steve Wynn is not Wynn Resorts. Plus, the suitability of one should not impact the other.

Gaming regulators in Nevada and Macau are also conducting investigations into the allegations against the former CEO.

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Results previously pushed

The MGC said it would deal with the results of its investigation by the end of the summer. The MGC then pushed to the fall and now appears to have pushed even further to December.

Many have alleged the MGC has displayed a pro-Wynn bias throughout the project’s history. These allegations appeared to force MGC chairman Steve Crosby to resign in September.

Several entities have filed lawsuits regarding the MGC’s decision to grant Wynn Resorts the Boston-area’s only casino license. The MGC chose Wynn over a competing plan to turn the Suffolk Downs racetrack into a casino, prompting legal action. Plus, Wynn’s purchase of the Everett land has also been subject to intense scrutiny and legal questions.

One of the original Everett landowners has ties to organized crime. This allowed Wynn to purchase the land at a cost of $35 million, instead of the originally agreed upon $75 million. However, the MGC took no further action against Wynn or the landowners, after determining Wynn was unaware.

Martin Derbyshire

About

Martin Derbyshire has more than ten years experience in the world of poker and gambling. He contributes to a number of publications dealing with the US regulated online gambling market. He has traveled the globe working as an editor, producer, and writer as well as interviewing major players in the gaming world.