Mr. Wynn seeks to stop the release of MassGaming’s investigative report into sexual misconduct allegations against him
Former casino boss Steve Wynn is suing Wynn Resorts and the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, arguing that the company he found has improperly provided the gaming regulator with privileged documents that the latter used for its probe into sexual harassment and misconduct allegations against the businessman.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission opened an investigation into the disgraced tycoon after the publication of a report by the Wall Street Journal that detailed a “decades-long pattern of sexual misconduct” by Mr. Wynn. Dozens of former and current Wynn Resorts employees claimed that they had been subjected to unwanted sexual advances by the businessman and that he had used his power to pressure them into “performing sex acts.”
The WSJ report was published in January and the Massachusetts Gaming Commission launched an investigation into the matter shortly after. Wynn Resorts is currently building the $2.4-billion Encore Boston Harbor integrated resort in the Greater Boston area. The property is slated to open doors next summer, but at one point during the ongoing investigation its future seemed very uncertain.
It emerged on Thursday that Mr. Wynn and his legal team filed a lawsuit against Wynn Resorts and MassGaming in a Nevada court on Wednesday. It is important to note that the businessman has quit the company and has sold his entire stock in it since the publication of the WSJ report.
In his lawsuit from Wednesday, the embattled businessman argued that his former company had provided the Massachusetts gambling regulator with documents “reflecting communications protected by Mr. Wynn’s attorney-client privilege and/or the common interest agreements he entered with Wynn Resorts.”
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The lawsuit filing further read that the MassGaming probe has been conducted with a total disregard for Mr. Wynn’s privileged communications. The lawsuit seeks to stop the publication of the regulator’s investigative report in case it contains privileged information.
The lawsuit not a surprise
The gaming regulator said in a statement that it was not surprised by the lawsuit and that it has retained legal representation in Nevada to defend itself and to block Mr. Wynn’s effort to prevent the publication of the investigatory report.
The Gaming Commission is expected to release a full report with its findings during a hearing in December. The regulatory body opened the probe back in February to find out whether the allegations were true, who knew about those, and how the issue was addressed.
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There were suggestions earlier this year that Wynn Resorts could lose its license for the development and operation of its integrated resort in Everett, a city located not far from Boston. The company was one of two major gaming and hospitality operators to have been issued gaming licenses by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, following the legalization of commercial casino gambling by the state Legislature a few years ago.
To distance itself from Mr. Wynn and the piling sexual misconduct allegations against the businessman, Wynn Resorts moved to change the name of its new resort from Wynn Boston Harbor to Encore Boston Harbor earlier this year.
News also emerged this week that Philip Satre will step in as Chairman of Wynn Resorts before the end of the year. Mr. Satre, a former Caesars Entertainment Corp. and Harrah’s Atlantic City CEO, is replacing D. Boone Wayson, who announced his retirement last month. Mr. Wayson was named as Non-Executive Chairman of the Las Vegas-based casino operator following the departure of Mr.
Wynn in February.
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