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Wynn Resorts proposes Steve Wynn be banned from company property

Wynn Resorts Ltd. has proposed that its co-founder, Steve Wynn, be banned from the buildings that bear his name.

In a 49-page legal brief the company filed Monday with the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, Wynn Resorts offered 13 measures it suggests be incorporated as part of the final resolution of the commission’s suitability case.

The commission will soon decide whether Wynn Resorts will be allowed to keep its gaming license and open its $2.6 billion Encore Boston Harbor resort on June 23 as planned. An investigation into the company’s suitability to operate in Massachusetts was spurred days after the Wall Street Journal published an article in late January 2018 outlining allegations of sexual misconduct against Steve Wynn. He has denied all allegations against him.

The brief reiterated the company’s belief that it has proved itself suitable to maintain the license the state awarded to the company in 2014.

The company concluded that “the commission should find that Wynn MA and the company have established their ongoing suitability by clear and convincing evidence; that the company’s new qualifiers have established their suitability by clear and convincing evidence; and that there is not substantial evidence that the company or any qualifiers willfully provided false or misleading information to the commission in violation of any gaming laws or regulations.”

The ban would mean Steve Wynn would not be able to step onto the grounds of Wynn Las Vegas or Encore Las Vegas, which he opened in 2005 and 2008, respectively.

Steve Wynn also would be banned from the Boston property, scheduled to open on June 23, and three resorts in Macau.

“It’s hard for me to ever imagine that Steve Wynn is a has-been,” said Anthony Cabot, a distinguished fellow at UNLV’s Boyd School of Law and who has appeared as legal counsel for companies before Nevada’s gaming regulators.

“He has had such a historical place in the development of Las Vegas, but I do think it’s something the company can do if they want to do it and I think they’re trying to send a message to Massachusetts that they’ve severed all relationships (with him),” he said.

In addition to banning Steve Wynn from properties, other proposals include:

-That any sexual assault or harassment reports be thoroughly investigated by a compliance committee and that any disciplinary actions, settlements or terminations be reported promptly to the commission.

-That the compliance committee continue to be composed of independent board members.

-That discrimination and harassment policies be reviewed annually by an outside expert.

-That new employees receive discrimination and harassment training within six months of hiring and that policy reviews occur annually.

-That board members or executives not use any legal counsel that had represented Steve Wynn.

-That any civil case against a Wynn Resorts qualifier be reported to the commission within 10 days.

-That the company report any circumstance involving a qualifier’s suitability to the Investigations and Enforcement Bureau promptly.

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

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