Wynn Resorts Touting Change but Sexual Harassment Charges Still Dogging It

(Joseph Prezioso photo)
Plows clear snow from the entrance of Encore Boston Harbor on Monday afternoon.

By Josh Resnek

The reports coming out of Las Vegas reveal that Wynn Resorts is relieved with its $20 million fine that has ended, for the time being, its difficulties with the Nevada Gaming Commission.

The commission’s 4-0 vote to order the company to pay a record fine ended a chapter indicating the company was aware, and admitted to being aware, of sexual harassment allegations against company founder Steve Wynn.

But the saga for the company is far from over.

Here in Everett, where the Wynn project is nearing completion, there remains the caveat that Wynn does not yet have a gaming license.

That was put on hold last year when the Steve Wynn story played out nationally in

a well written and documented investigative report by the Wall Street Journal.

A Steve Wynn law suit attempting to stop the release of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission’s long awaited report on Wynn’s suitability is expected out sometime in April.

The MGC settled with the Wynn people to accept a redacted report for discussion instead of no report, which would have sunk the process into a dreary round of endless legalities with opening day only 100 days away.

Industry observers trying to make sense about what exactly anything the MGC will do wonder aloud, “Will the punishment against the company fit the offense. More to the point, will Massachusetts rely upon the law and fail to permit Wynn Resorts from holding a license or will the state give in to the clamor for the license to be issued no matter what the law provides because 4000 jobs are more important than the law?

At the same time Wynn is preparing itself for the MGC adjudicatory hearing, it is still dealing with local sexual harassment suits, at least two that we know of which.

One is winding its way through the court system and expecting a judicial response any day – that case of a former Wynn PR guru who apparently sexually harassed a fellow employee who later filed suit has had wide ramifications here and apparently in Macau, where the accused executive held a similar position before being sent to the Boston office.

A second case of sexual harassment was reported but was apparently recently settled here in Boston.

Will the MGC set a huge fine for Wynn to pay in order to receive its suitability OK?

Will the MGC disqualify Wynn Resorts as unsuitable – the way some legal minds believe it should be done because Wynn Resorts failed the Litmus test years ago when a number of its executives claimed to know nothing about sexual harassment charges and claims and failed to report such things on the MGC application and during interviews?

Lying before the MGC is a felony. Executives of Wynn Resorts who committed felonies when before the MGC cannot expect the company to be deemed suitable at this point, as the law requires suitability to be determined, as it was determined, when Wynn was still part of the company.

Hardly anyone around here can be found who believes such a standard will be used by the MGC.

However, the amended complaint by Sterling Suffolk, the developers who were ruled unsuitable by the MGC, and who lost out to Wynn, who was ruled suitable, stands in the way, for now.

What exactly happens is anyones guess.

The MGC under the new rule of Chairperson Attorney Cathy Judd-Stein cannot be placed into a side or a corner, yet.

The MGC hearing when it is held will unveil the strategy as well as the decision.





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