Report cites significant, repetitive ‘failures’ at Wynn Resorts

Gaming Commission says Steve Wynn party to six settlements

WYNN RESORTS maintained a culture of cover-up when it came to allegations of sexual misconduct against the company’s founder, according to an extensive report compiled by Massachusetts gambling regulators.

The report, which was provided to the news media on Tuesday ahead of a multi-day hearing into the company’s actions, provides a window into Steve Wynn’s response to allegations of rape and of how company executives handled those and other charges. The result of the adjudicatory hearing before the Massachusetts Gaming Commission will determine whether Wynn Resorts is suitable and can open its nearly completed Everett casino in June as planned.

Wynn Resorts leadership has changed dramatically since Steve Wynn resigned and sold his shares in the company last year after the allegations came to light. Of the 11 people who needed to qualify as suitable during the Gaming Commission’s initial 2013 investigation into the company, only the current CEO, Matthew Maddox, and Wynn’s ex-wife, Elaine Wynn, are still considered officials who must pass muster with the agency.

“The significant changes in leadership, policies, structure, and internal controls at the company do not erase the fact that the corporate failures revealed in this investigation are significant, repetitive, and reflective of the Company’s historical governance practices,” the report said.

Wynn himself refused to give a sworn interview, and the non-disclosure agreements that Wynn made with accusers may have been an impediment to the regulators’ investigation. Wynn entered six settlements after the Wall Street Journal published a January 2018 story documenting his alleged sexual predation, and parties to settlements with Wynn “may face potential damages claims for very substantial sums, should they make disclosures,” the report said.

The report includes excerpts from an October 2017 deposition – months before the Journal story – where Steve Wynn was questioned about allegations that he had raped a manicurist in his office. Wynn denied the charge even though he made a $7.5 million settlement with the manicurist. In somewhat flippant terms, Wynn in that deposition describes his version of events that the manicurist initiated sex with him and then extorted him.

Meet the Author

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.

Wynn told a different story to Elaine Wynn in 2009 when they were in the midst of proceedings related to their second divorce, according to what the former casino mogul’s ex-wife told investigators. At that time, he denied any type of sex occurred.

“He claims that nothing happened, that the only thing that happened, he was foolish enough to be alone with this manicurist in his office area, getting a manicure with no staff around to observe and be a witness to the nothing that happened,” Elaine Wynn told investigators of her April 2009 conversation with Steve Wynn.