With the dominoes falling fast, Wynn Boston Harbor may soon have a new name. The mammoth development that continues to rise into the Everett sky has been the source of wide speculation as to its future. Wynn Resort chief Steve Wynn resigned from the company and sold his shares in it after multiple allegations of sexual assault and rape dogged him. As the state gaming commission investigates, Wynn Boston Harbor boss Robert DeSalvio says they may ditch the name. The commission now says it will wrap up its investigation “no later than summer.”
Gaming Commission Executive Director Edward Bedrosian says the commission’s regular review of construction at the $2.4 billion in Everett shouldn’t be viewed as “prejudgment” of the ongoing investigation. Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby stressed the Wynn Resort is proceeding “on an at risk basis.”
The latest development in the Wynn saga comes as the company works to convince the Massachusetts Gaming Commission that it is still “suitable” to hold the casino license which is the only one allowed by law in the eastern part of the state. Under Massachusetts law, character, reputation, and integrity are all elements of “suitability” to hold a license. Wynn passed such a standard in 2014.
The company’s move to distance itself from Wynn started immediately after the Wall Street Journal reported a decades-long pattern of Steve Wynn allegedly harassing and assaulting women. Wynn settled such a lawsuit by paying a manicurist $7.5 million. Wynn Resorts has admitted to hiding the settlement from the gaming commission when it was originally considering Wynn Resorts for the license.
Steve Wynn then sold his remaining 12 percent interest in the company. And if that wasn’t enough, Elaine Wynn, Steve Wynn’s ex-wife with whom he is engaged in nasty divorce proceedings, says told the general counsel Resorts in 2009 that she knew of allegations that her now ex-husband had raped an employee in 2005.
Elaine Wynn says general counsel Kimmarie Sinatra told her the situation was “deemed not to have been an issue of concern for the company” and that it was “handled personally,” according to the Associated Press.
The gaming commission’s next move seems to hinge on whether the Wynn Resorts board of directors knew of Steve Wynn’s alleged behavior including whether they were aware of the multimillion-dollar settlement with the manicurist. The commission has wide latitude in determining the “suitability” of a license holder. It could demand that the Wynn name come off the resort as demanded by Gov. Baker and state Attorney General Maura Healey. Both have questioned whether the Wynn name should remain.
DeSilvio’s disclosure that the company is looking to dump the Wynn name may be a preemptive strike to placate the commission as well as Baker and Healey. The commission could rule that the Wynn company has to sell the
Every bit of news on Wynn and the casino sends shock waves through the city of Everett. City officials and residents fear for the thousands of jobs the enormous project is supposed to bring not to mention the $30 million a year the city is supposed to get when the resort casino opens.
Published reports in Everett are only fueling the rumor mill. One report said Steve Wynn was actively selling the company. Of course, he doesn’t have the ability to sell the company. Another report in the same publication said new Wynn CEO Matt Maddox would be out as chairman because he had prior knowledge of Steve Wynn’s predatory behavior. This despite Maddox himself publicly denying it.