Gaming Commission Scrutinizing Wynn License for Everett Casino Project

All eyes are on the Massachusetts Gaming Commission after it announced Friday it was reviewing the casino license awarded to Wynn Resorts for the Wynn Boston Harbor under construction in Everett and scheduled to open next year.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Steve Wynn is accused of decades-long sexual misconduct and assault. With remarkable speed, the gaming commission announced its review. Wynn denies the allegations but subsequently resigned as finance chair of the Republican National Committee.

The dominos continue to fall for Wynn. Multiple elected officials have moved to donate to charity any funds Wynn contributed to them. On Sunday, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said the money should be returned (she got no contributions from Wynn).

It’s unclear just what the gaming commission is reviewing. It doesn’t have any mechanism to launch an investigation. However, it can review the license holder’s “suitability.” A spokeswoman for the commission said that’s what they will be looking at. “The suitability and integrity of our gaming licensees is of the utmost importance, and ensuring that suitability is an active and ongoing process…Consequently, the MGC’s Investigations and Enforcement Bureau will conduct a regulatory review of this matter to determine the appropriate next steps,” she said in a statement.

(031516 Malden,MA) Steve Wynn talks about his proposed Everett casino

Under Massachusetts law, character, reputation, and integrity are all elements of “suitability” to hold a license, according to the Boston Globe. Wynn passed such a standard in 2014.

Locally, only a couple of city councilors have spoken out and there has been an expected silence from the mayor’s office. With politicians starting to ditch their Wynn money, it’s an open question as to what the city council should do. It can’t realistically return money the city has received from Wynn. But at the same time, what about future funds?

Meanwhile, shareholders of Wynn Resorts are feeling the hit from the scandal.

Wynn and his supporters (or pro-casino-at-all-cost folks) say the information in the WSJ report is simply concocted dirt from Wynn’s soon-to-be ex-wife.

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