Wynn Out, But Is It Enough?

The Everett Stimulus. is a new blog that takes a deeper dive into the politics and general happenings of Everett. Patrick Scully is a veteran political and media analyst and writer. He is the former communication and media director for the Senate Democrats in the Connecticut General Assembly. He also writes the national blog, The Political Stimulus.

Casino magnate Steve Wynn did Tuesday what many saw as inevitable—he resigned as the CEO and chairman of the board of directors of Wynn Resorts, the gold standard in destination resort casinos. Wynn bailed as sexual misconduct and assault allegations threaten Wynn properties across the world, including the $2.4 billion Wynn Boston Harbor project now well under construction in Everett.

Wynn’s personal pillars began to crumble in the wake of a Wall Street Journal report describing decades of alleged sexual misconduct. Gaming regulators in Massachusetts and Nevada opened investigations, Wynn resigned as finance chair of the Republican National Committee and universities decided to abandoned the Wynn name on various buildings and programs.

The big question hanging out there now is whether one resignation is enough for the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to continue to view Wynn Resorts as “suitable” to hold a gaming license in the state. The commission has wide latitude in deciding “suitability.” Under Massachusetts law, character, reputation, and integrity are all elements of “suitability” to hold a license.

 

 

The WSJ reported that in 2005, Wynn allegedly forced a manicurist at his Las Vegas casino property into sex and later paid her a $7.5 million settlement. The gaming commissioners focused in on that alleged payout when it met and announced its investigative arm would initiate a probe of the situation. Wynn’s lawyers confirmed the settlement.

Wynn denies the allegations of the manicurist but his actions scream “guilty!” Not only did he authorize the huge payout, he set up a separate company to hide the transaction. The company, Entity Y, was created in 2005, shortly after the manicurist accused him of forcing her to have sex with him. The WSJ confirmed the purpose of the company via Nevada court records and transcripts, some of which include testimony from a Wynn Resorts lawyer.

Rendering of $2.4 billion Wynn Boston Harbor project in Everett, Mass.

 

The gaming commission’s action could range from deeming Wynn Resorts not “suitable” to hold the coveted eastern Massachusetts resort casino to simply being satisfied with Wynn’s resignation.

At stake are the thousands of construction jobs and thousands more permanent jobs. The thought here is that the commission will not endanger these job by delaying construction in any way.

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