Gaming panel clears path for Wynn report
Tells lawyers to finalize agreement ending lawsuit logjam
THE MASSACHUSETTS GAMING COMMISSION voted unanimously on Wednesday to authorize its attorneys to finalize an agreement with Steve Wynn that would allow the commissioners to receive the agency’s long-awaited investigative report on the gambling executive’s alleged sexual misconduct and the company’s suitability to retain its Massachusetts casino license.
The five-member commission, led by new chair Cathy Judd-Stein, met privately for about five hours with its attorneys and staff before emerging to publicly vote on a motion that the agency said would result in the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by Steve Wynn against the commission, its lead investigator Karen Wells, and Wynn Resorts. Steve Wynn claimed the Gaming Commission’s investigators were using information from documents protected by attorney-client privilege.
The commission provided no details on the tentative agreement with Steve Wynn, and wasn’t clear on whether some or all of the information gleaned from the disputed documents would be stripped from the report.
A statement issued by the commission said the agreement would guarantee “that commissioners have access to important investigative information relevant to the Wynn Resorts suitability review. This action also eliminates the uncertainty of protracted litigation and allows the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to commence its preparations for an adjudicatory hearing and a robust, public review of its investigatory findings.”
Most analysts expect the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to follow the lead of Nevada by fining Wynn Resorts but allowing the company to retain its casino license. The size of the fine in Nevada has not been set yet.The Nevada Gaming Control Board last month issued its own report on Steve Wynn’s sexual misconduct. That report identified at least seven instances where employees were either raped, forced into sexual relationships, or sexually harassed by Steve Wynn between 2005 and 2014 and another instance where an employee facilitated sex between cocktail servers and Steve Wynn and his guests.
The Massachusetts investigative report is expected to go into far more detail about what transpired inside the company. Work on the report began a year ago after the Wall Street Journal reported on years of sexual misconduct by Steve Wynn. The report appeared to be nearing release in September, but it was delayed several times before being put on hold after Steve Wynn sued in a Nevada court over the disputed documents. The judge in the case put the report’s release on hold while she tried to shepherd the two sides to some sort of agreement.