Gaming panel chair: We’re getting the information we need on Wynn

But she doesn’t know if settlement will exclude some documents

THE CHAIRWOMAN of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission assured the public on Thursday that an upcoming legal settlement with Steve Wynn will yield all the information the agency needs to make a decision about whether the Las Vegas gambling company should be allowed to retain its casino license.

The commission has come under fire for moving to end a protracted legal dispute over documents Wynn alleges were protected by attorney-client privilege. The commission did not characterize whether the settlement will allow the use of any or all of the disputed documents, but Chairwoman Cathy Judd-Stein said the outcome will give the agency all the information it needs.

“We are getting all the information that is material and substantive that will allow us to be fully informed going forward,” said Judd-Stein after the commission met behind closed doors on Thursday.  She expects the case brought by Steve Wynn “will be formally dismissed in the coming days.”

Wynn Resorts, which plans to open a Boston casino this summer, parted ways with its eponymous chairman and CEO just over a year ago, soon after the Wall Street Journal documented a pattern of sexual predation.

The reports also led the Bay State’s casino regulators to examine anew whether the company he left behind is a suitable recipient of a casino license. That investigation turned up documents that Wynn claimed were protected by attorney-client privilege. He sued the Gaming Commission; its director of investigations and enforcement, Karen Wells; and Wynn Resorts in Nevada, seeking to prevent the commission from using the documents in its forthcoming report. Last week, the commission decided to settle the matter, and on Thursday officials said the resolution should give the commission all the information it needs.

Judd-Stein, who has not seen the investigatory report, said she could not say whether the report will use any documents that Wynn deemed protected by attorney-client privilege and couldn’t comment on what Wynn might get out of the resolution.

“I really don’t know what it provides for Mr. Wynn, but my focus is on Massachusetts,” Judd-Stein said.

Next week, the commission plans to review the suitability of a number of new, key employees at Wynn Resorts and then the investigatory report will be released at the beginning of an adjudicatory hearing into the overall suitability question.

Despite the legal turmoil, Wynn Resorts CEO Matt Maddox assured investors earlier this year that the casino would open as planned on June 23. Judd-Stein said she “cannot speculate on any outcome.”

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Andy Metzger

Reporter, CommonWealth magazine

About Andy Metzger

Andy Metzger joined CommonWealth Magazine as a reporter in January 2019. He has covered news in Massachusetts since 2007. For more than six years starting in May 2012 he wrote about state politics and government for the State House News Service.  At the News Service, he followed three criminal trials from opening statements to verdicts, tracked bills through the flumes and eddies of the Legislature, and sounded out the governor’s point of view on a host of issues – from the proposed Olympics bid to federal politics.

Before that, Metzger worked at the Chelmsford Independent, The Arlington Advocate, the Somerville Journal and the Cambridge Chronicle, weekly community newspapers that cover an array of local topics. Metzger graduated from UMass Boston in 2006. In addition to his written journalism, Metzger produced a work of illustrated journalism about Gov. Charlie Baker’s record regarding the MBTA. He lives in Somerville and commutes mainly by bicycle.

About Andy Metzger

Andy Metzger joined CommonWealth Magazine as a reporter in January 2019. He has covered news in Massachusetts since 2007. For more than six years starting in May 2012 he wrote about state politics and government for the State House News Service.  At the News Service, he followed three criminal trials from opening statements to verdicts, tracked bills through the flumes and eddies of the Legislature, and sounded out the governor’s point of view on a host of issues – from the proposed Olympics bid to federal politics.

Before that, Metzger worked at the Chelmsford Independent, The Arlington Advocate, the Somerville Journal and the Cambridge Chronicle, weekly community newspapers that cover an array of local topics. Metzger graduated from UMass Boston in 2006. In addition to his written journalism, Metzger produced a work of illustrated journalism about Gov. Charlie Baker’s record regarding the MBTA. He lives in Somerville and commutes mainly by bicycle.

On Tuesday, Nevada gaming regulators hit Wynn Resorts with a $20 million fine as part of that state’s investigation of Steve Wynn and the company’s response to his sexual misconduct. Also on Tuesday, Attorney General Maura Healey said her office might play a role in the Massachusetts licensing decision.

The $2.6 billion hotel and casino is going up on the banks of the Mystic River in Everett, near Charlestown, and construction crews have made major progress on the structure, which is dubbed Encore Boston Harbor.