Massachusetts regulators to get report on Steve Wynn investigation

Updated March 14, 2019 - 5:25 pm

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission will receive a report from its Investigations and Enforcement Bureau Friday on its findings on accusations of sexual harassment by Steve Wynn and what company executives knew about it.

The report will be key to the commission’s decision on whether Las Vegas-based Wynn Resorts Ltd. can keep its Massachusetts gaming license.

The company is building the $2.6 billion Encore Boston Harbor resort in Everett, Massachusetts, near Boston, and plans to open it in June.

No date has been set for an adjudicatory hearing to determine the company’s suitability.

Steve Wynn has denied harassing anyone.

The report is expected to be heavily redacted because Steve Wynn filed a lawsuit against the commission, lead investigator Karen Wells and Wynn Resorts, alleging that materials within the report contained privileged attorney-client information.

The report isn’t expected to be released publicly until the adjudicatory hearing begins. It’s unclear when Wynn Resorts will get a copy of it.

“We appreciate the thoughtful approach the MGC has taken in their investigation and look forward to the next steps in the public process,” a Wynn Resorts spokesman said in an email late Thursday.

Efforts to contact representatives for Steve Wynn were unsuccessful.

Packet released

The commission settled the lawsuit in Clark County District Court earlier this month and commissioners released 67 pages of documents late Thursday. The packet includes 31 pages of minutes from six closed-door commission executive sessions between Dec. 6 and Feb. 28; the 14-page settlement agreement; and Steve Wynn’s initial lawsuit filing that includes three completely redacted exhibits.

The settlement agreement references the Gibson Dunn Report — an internal report prepared for a special committee of the Wynn Resorts board of directors on sexual harassment complaints within the company. That report, prepared by the Los Angeles law firm of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, was delivered to the board, which also distributed it to the commission as well as the Nevada Gaming Control Board. The report referenced materials involving other Wynn lawsuits as well as a complaint filed with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which investigates harassment claims.

Under the settlement terms, Wynn Resorts agreed not to use or further disseminate the Gibson Dunn Report.

Commissioners also began receiving a list of new board members and executives that will be scrutinized when the commission considers the company’s suitability for licensing.

Wynn board remade

In the past year, the company separated itself from Steve Wynn without paying any severance; remade the company’s board of directors with nearly 50 percent women; and recruited three new executives, all of them women.

Massachusetts Gaming Commission Chairwoman Cathy Judd-Stein explained the release of minutes and future steps.

“As you will see documented in the minutes, gaming commissioners sought an assessment from IEB investigators about the quantity and quality of investigative material available to the commission under the terms of the resolution,” Judd-Stein said in a statement during Thursday’s commission meeting.

“Commissioners also required assurance from investigators that the resolution would guarantee access to all of the substantive information necessary to make a fully informed decision about the suitability of Wynn Resorts,” she said. “Additionally, meeting minutes note that the commissioners engaged in extensive discussions with legal counsel and thoroughly explored all litigation options.”

Judd-Stein said the decision to execute a resolution accomplished two goals: It ensured commissioners access to critical investigative information and eliminated the uncertainty of prolonged litigation.

Wynn Resorts’ future date with the Massachusetts Gaming Commission will be the second hearing involving accusations against Steve Wynn, first reported in January 2018. He resigned as chairman and CEO of the company about a week later and the company has distanced itself from him.

Last month, the Nevada Gaming Commission fined Wynn Resorts a record $20 million for violating Nevada laws and regulations as a result of the allegations that Steve Wynn harassed at least eight female employees over several decades.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

Steve Wynn Investigation and executive session minutes and resolution agreement by Las Vegas Review-Journal on Scribd

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