If the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) determines that Wynn Resorts isn’t worthy to hold a casino license in the state, Suffolk Downs won’t look to take over. The company has stated that it now has no desire to operate a casino in the Boston area, but is still moving forward with a multi-billion dollar lawsuit against Wynn and the MGC over the bidding process that ultimately awarded the license to Wynn.
Suffolk Downs was one of several companies that bid on the license for a casino in Boston. It has asserted that Wynn was given the license through back-alley strategic manipulation and tactics; in other words, it cheated.
The lawsuit, which seeks $3 billion in damages, has left Suffolk Downs with a bad taste in its mouth for Boston and the company’s CEO, Chip Tuttle, told the Boston Herald this past Monday that Suffolk has no desire to operate in the city. He added, “That ship has sailed.”
The MGC is still determining if Wynn should be able to operate the Encore Boston Harbor, which is close to having its construction completed. It was given a report last Friday that was completed by its Investigators and Enforcement Bureau following a year-long investigation into the allegations of sexual harassment against Wynn’s founder and former CEO, Steve Wynn.
MGC opened the investigation after it was asserted that Wynn Resorts knew what its CEO was up to, but didn’t do anything to stop it. The Boston Herald report adds that the MGC has received “critical” information that could ultimately be used to determine whether or not Wynn should retain the license. One of the pieces of information was a U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) complaint that had been filed against Steve Wynn only a few months ahead of the Boston license being awarded.
That complaint, had it been public when the bidding for the license was in process, would have been a factor in the MGC’s selection of an operator. Loretta Lillios, the deputy director of MGC’s investigation team, said that the “2014 EEOC matter is a crucial piece of evidence” and that, without it, the MGC “may not have fair and accurate information to review Wynn Resorts’ suitability.”
The MGC is expected to reach a decision on the license before Encore is scheduled to open on June 23.