Gaming Commission Decides To Allow Wynn Resorts To Keep License Following Investigation

Wynn Resorts
Steve Wynn, Chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts, speaks during a conference (Photo: Reuters)

Following its finding on the recent allegations involving a cover-up of former Wynn Resorts CEO Stephen Alan Wynn's sexual misconduct, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission has decided that it will allow the casino and hotel company to retain its license to operate. The commission also allowed the resort to continue with its plans to open its Encore Casino in Everett, Massachusetts.

As part of its decision, the gaming commission required the firm to pay a US$35 million fine as per its findings. It also required the firm's current CEO, Mathew Maddox, to pay a US$500,000 fine for failing to launch an investigation into his predecessor for allegedly harassing a Wynn Resort Spa employee.

As indicated in the decision, the commission did not directly find evidence that would merit the disqualification of Wynn Resorts' operating license, but it did find the allegations "profoundly disturbed." The commission also stated that the pervasive non-disclosure culture within the company has become systemic and that should change.

The commission acknowledged that the firm has so far made progress in changing its policies to protect its employees. However, there are still some concerns over a number of deficiencies.

In line with this, the commission has required the resort to hire an independent party to monitor and review its policies and to provide adequate seminars about workplace harassment for its employees and executives.

Despite its relatively lenient decision on the matter, the commission warned the resort that it had to meet the key metrics it had outlined, which are aimed at ensuring the safety and welfare of the company's employees.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has been investigating Wynn Resorts and its former CEO Steve Wynn for over a year now. Last year, the real estate mogul was accused by more than a dozen people of sexual harassment and misconduct. Wynn allegedly coerced some of his female employees into engaging in sexual intercourse. Multiple victims allegedly received money to sign non-disclosure agreements. Wynn stepped down as the company's CEO in February of last year because of the allegations against him. Wynn has so far denied all of the allegations.

The decision came after a long three-day hearing held in March, which saw Wynn executives and commission officials discussing the case against the firm's former CEO.

One of the more damning evidence against Wynn was a reported US$7.5 million settlement to a female employee who was allegedly raped. Wynn's ex-wife testified that she had knowledge about the settlement, which she had confided in the company's general counsel back in 2009.

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