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Wynn Resorts Executives Take Heat From Massachusetts Gaming Commission

Encore Boston Harbor rendering

Wynn Resorts is in the middle of a grueling week of hearings that will determine the fate of its $2.6B, 3M SF Greater Boston casino. 

Executives from the gaming company are facing the Massachusetts Gaming Commission this week for a casino license suitability hearing. State regulators questioned the company’s right to open Encore Boston Harbor given how Wynn Resorts handled sexual misconduct allegations against ex-CEO Steve Wynn, and the hearing has been contentious, the Boston Herald reports

“When [The Wall Street Journal article about Steve Wynn] came out, to say that I was disappointed would be an understatement,” MGC board member Jay Johnson said during a Wednesday session. “It rocked my boat, and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to stay on this board.”

The company has maintained it has gone to great lengths to distance itself from founder Steve Wynn after the Wall Street Journal came out with a bombshell report detailing decades of sexual misconduct and cover-ups involving the company's founder and namesake. Wynn Resorts changed the name of the planned Boston Casino from Wynn Boston Harbor to Encore Boston Harbor. 

It also cleared its board of members with allegiance to Steve Wynn (apart from current CEO Matthew Maddox) and has introduced a variety of measures to combat sexual harassment in the workplace. 

But the MGC panel noted the company still made a $10M severance payout to former Wynn Resorts general counsel Kim Sinatra rather than fire her for not reporting Steve Wynn’s settlement payout to a sexual harassment accuser. 

“At the time, we believe this was the right business decision,” Wynn Resorts board member Betsy Atkins told the MGC panel, according to the Herald. “We were concerned about stabilizing the company … And not inviting another big, ugly, public, protracted lawsuit.”

The hearings into Wynn Resorts’ Massachusetts casino license will conclude Thursday.