The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) will hold a special public meeting today, Jan. 31, to discuss for the first time the sexual harassment allegations against Wynn Resorts CEO Steve Wynn – an effort by the MGC’s Investigation and Enforcement Bureau (IEB) to determine Wynn’s “suitability.”
“The Investigations and Enforcement Bureau immediately initiated a review of this matter to assess implications for ongoing suitability and investigators will provide the five-member Commission with a status update,” read a statement from the MGC on Monday. “The Commission is profoundly aware of the gravity of this matter, and will proceed with the appropriate sense of urgency and rigor.
The Commission is now aware of and is taking very seriously the troubling allegations detailed in the Wall Street Journal article,” continued the statement. “The suitability and integrity of our gaming licensees is of the utmost importance, and ensuring that suitability is an active and ongoing process. Consequently, the MGC’s Investigations and Enforcement Bureau will conduct a regulatory review of this matter to determine the appropriate next steps.”
A Wynn Boston Harbor spokesman said they have been in contact with the MGC and will cooperate.
“We have been in contact with the MGC and will be fully cooperative with any review the commission chooses to undertake,” they said.
Gov. Charlie Baker was quoted in the Boston media as saying if the allegations against Steve Wynn are substantiated, then he should be declared “unsuitable” for being involved in holding the state gaming license.
The MGC would not comment on whether or not they knew about the allegations, and particularly a $7.5 million settlement made to a Wynn Resorts manicurist in 2005. They would not comment on whether or not the IEB had learned of any of the allegations in their initial review of Wynn or Wynn Resorts, or if Wynn had disclosed them at any time during that process.
On Friday, Wynn Resorts announced that it was conducting its own investigation as well from its Las Vegas headquarters.
After meeting on Friday, they have decided to form a Special Committee of the Board made up of independent directors. They would be charged to investigate allegations in the Wall Street Journal report.
Patricia Mulroy, a member of the Board’s Corporate Governance and Compliance Committee, will chair the Special Committee. Mulroy is also a former Nevada Gaming Commissioner.
“The Board is deeply committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all of the Company’s employees and to operating with the highest ethical standards,” read a statement of the Board.
As for Wynn Boston Harbor, there is no indication that the project will stop.
Workers have been reporting to the site as they have been for the past year, and deadlines on the project continue to be on the same timeline.