Investors of Wynn Resorts Ltd. may heave a sigh of relief after Massachusetts gambling regulators agreed to remove the name of embattled casino billionaire Steve Wynn from the license of the company’s $2.5 billion casino resort project near Boston.
In a statement, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission agreed to disregard Wynn as one of the company’s ‘qualifiers’ after a “careful consideration of the evidence and the requirements stipulated by law.”
A ‘qualifier’ is considered to be someone who is a top executive and shareholder of the company. The state regulator conducts thorough background checks on ‘qualifiers’ before deciding whether a casino operator is suitable to be granted a license.
The MGC’s conclusion came after written verification that the casino mogul didn’t exercise voting rights at the 2018 Wynn Resorts shareholders’ meeting. The MGC also recognized Wynn Resorts’ efforts to separate itself from its founder, including the renaming of its casino project from Wynn Boston Harbor to Encore Boston Harbor.
“[There is] substantial evidence that the relationship between Mr. Wynn and Wynn Resorts has been terminated in a meaningful way such that Mr. Wynn no longer falls within the definition of qualifier at the conclusion of the upcoming annual shareholders meeting,” the MGC said in its eight-page decision posted on its website.
Wynn, who is facing a string of sexual harassment complaints, earlier requested the removal of his name from the casino license since he no longer has any financial interest in the company. Wynn divested his 11.8 percent stake in Wynn Resorts in March.
“We are pleased with the Gaming Commission’s decision and look forward to having nothing further to do with this matter,” Attorney Brian Kelley, counsel for Wynn, said in a statement.
Wynn Resorts said the company will now be able to move forward with the construction of its multi-billion casino resort project.
The MGC, however, pointed out that the decision doesn’t mean it had exonerated Wynn from its investigation into Steve Wynn’s alleged sexual misconduct.
The MGC is currently conducting a probe into how much Wynn’s senior management knew of the allegations when they underwent suitability screening ahead of the Boston project receiving its gaming license.