Massachusetts Gaming Commission Considers Wynn Lawsuit Dismissal

Wynn resort in Las Vegas

Members of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission on Wednesday
unanimously approved a push to end a legal battle with disgraced
casino magnate Steve Wynn.

Wynn’s lawsuit was filed against the commission, the agency’s
chief investigator and his eponymous former company in Nevada.

Commissioners voted after meeting in a closed-door executive
session for more than five hours.

The vote is a key step in finalizing logistics for an
adjudicatory hearing. The hearing will determine whether Wynn
Resorts Ltd. (Nasdaq: WYNN) is suitable to hold a casino license in
Massachusetts. Wynn Resorts’ $2.6 billion gaming resort, dubbed
Encore Boston Harbor, is scheduled to open in Everett this
June.

In their vote, commissioners authorized the agency’s legal
counsel to work on finalizing an agreement that would dismiss
Stephen A. Wynn vs. Karen Wells, the Massachusetts
Gaming Commission and Wynn Resorts, et al.
, which is currently
pending in Nevada’s Clark County District Court.

That decision, which needs to be approved by other parties
involved in the lawsuit, would allow commissioners to receive an
internal investigative report on Wynn Resorts and move forward with
scheduling a hearing on the company’s suitability to hold a gaming
license “as soon as possible,” the commission said. 

“Today the Massachusetts Gaming Commission voted to authorize
its legal counsel to finalize an agreement guaranteeing that
commissioners have access to important investigative information
relevant to the Wynn Resorts suitability review,” the commission
said in a statement. “This action also eliminates the uncertainty
of protracted litigation and allows the MGC to commence its
preparations for an adjudicatory hearing and a robust, public
review of its investigatory findings.”

The commission launched an investigation into Steve Wynn
following a blockbuster article published by the Wall Street
Journal last year outlining a decades-long pattern of sexual
misconduct at his Las Vegas-based gaming empire. The story was
first to report a secret $7.5 million settlement Wynn paid to a
manicurist at Wynn Las Vegas resort
, who alleged the mogul had
forced her to have sex with him.

Attorneys for Wynn Resorts Ltd. confirmed the payment to the
commission, and said that Wynn Resorts did not disclose that
settlement to investigators during a 2013 examination to determine
whether the company was suitable to receive a gaming
license. The commission said that payment was a “critical
element” of its review of Wynn Resorts’ suitability.

Wynn stepped down as CEO of Wynn Resorts Ltd. last February, and
a number of company executives followed him out the door. He has
denied all allegations of sexual misconduct. 

In November, Wynn sued the commission to prevent its
investigative report from being made public, arguing Wynn Resorts
Ltd. violated attorney-client privilege by sharing documents and
other investigative information with Massachusetts gaming
regulators. 

Following Wednesday’s vote, the commission will start its
preparations for an adjudicatory hearing of the Wynn report and
what it calls “a robust, public review of its investigatory
findings.”

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