Next Monday, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) has prepared to launch hearings on whether or not Wynn Resorts is suitable to hold a casino license in the state. The process has faced a series of delays as Wynn Resorts, along with founder and former CEO Steve Wynn, have introduced legal measures designed to prevent the release of certain details regarding the sexual misconduct allegations against the executive.
When Wynn Resorts was awarded the license in 2013, it was viewed by the MGC as a legitimate contender and Steve Wynn was deemed a “highly ethical” individual and a “perfectionist who is passionate about everything he does.” When news broke in early 2018 regarding Steve Wynn’s sexual improprieties, his reputation was put on the line.
Wynn Resorts has already admitted that certain high-ranking individuals at the organization were aware of Steve Wynn’s actions, yet they did nothing to stop him. Those individuals are no longer with the company, as Wynn Resorts stated recently, and the MGC is calling into question both Steve Wynn’s activities and those of the company. The commission could ultimately decide to fine Wynn Resorts or revoke the license it was given for the Boston-area casino, Encore Boston Harbor.
Wynn Resorts has pushed forward with Encore, which is expected to open June 23. It is already taking reservations, but a decision by the MGC to revoke the license could bring everything to a grinding halt. It would force thousands of workers out of their jobs and lead to possibly millions of dollars in lost tax revenue, as well as other economic benefits.
Because of the potential damage that could befall the area by a license revocation, most analysts predict that Wynn Resorts will retain its concession, but be forced to pay a fine. Clyde Barrow, a gaming analyst, believes that the MGC will put all the blame squarely on Steve Wynn’s shoulders, leaving Wynn Resorts and Encore, to move forward as scheduled. He explains, “It’ll look bad for Wynn, and the commission will plead, ‘We didn’t know to look for it, and they withheld information.’”
If the MGC decided, however, to revoke the license, Mohegan Sun is ready to pick up the ball and run with it. The company said last year that it would enthusiastically participate in any process undertaken to assign the license to another operator in order to keep Encore moving forward without significant delays.