Release of MassGaming’s probe into sexual misconduct allegations against casino mogul Steve Wynn temporarily blocked
A Clark County District Court Judge has temporarily blocked the release of a report by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission into sexual misconduct allegations leveled against former casino boss Steve Wynn, a court official said on Monday.
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The Massachusetts gaming regulator opened a probe into Mr. Wynn and Wynn Resorts, the company he had found, shortly after the publication of a report by the Wall Street Journal back in January, detailing an alleged decades-long sexual misconduct pattern by the embattled businessman. The investigation aimed to discover whether Wynn Resorts had any knowledge of the allegations raised against its former boss, how it had responded to those allegations, and whether it was suitable to be the holder of one of the state’s commercial casino licenses.
Wynn Resorts is currently building the $2.4-billion Encore Boston Harbor integrated resort in the Greater Boston area. The hotel and casino complex is scheduled to be launched next summer, although the latest developments may delay its opening.
Mr. Wynn’s attorneys filed two motions in the Clark County District Court earlier this month, seeking to block the release of MassGaming’s report. The businessman’s legal team argued that Wynn Resorts had communicated privileged information about its former boss to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.
According to the motion, the information provided included communication protected by “Mr. Wynn’s attorney-client privilege and/or the common interest agreements he entered with Wynn Resorts.”
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Judge Wants to Hear Arguments about the Contents of MassGaming’s Report
Clark County District Court Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez informed attorneys yesterday that she wants to hear arguments about whether the report indeed contains privileged information. A date for a hearing is yet to be determined.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission planned to release the findings of its probe in December, but it seems that it will have to do that at a later date, or it might even not be allowed to do that, if Judge Gonzalez sides with Mr. Wynn.
According to Massachusetts and MassGaming attorneys, the Clark County Court Judge lacks jurisdiction to rule on whether the Massachusetts gaming regulator is exercising oversight in a proper manner. They also pointed out in a court filing from last Friday that the ongoing legal argument will “almost certainly” delay the opening of Encore Boston Harbor, which will in turn delay “4,500 full-time job opportunities” and would deprive Massachusetts of millions of dollars in monthly tax revenue.
Encore Boston Harbor will be the state’s second integrated resort with a full-blown casino. Under original plans, the property was called Wynn Boston Harbor, but Wynn Resorts decided to replace Wynn with Encore, another popular brand owned by the company, to distance itself from the sexual misconduct scandal. As mentioned earlier, the luxury complex, currently under construction along the Mystic River in Everett, was scheduled to swing its doors open in the summer of 2019.
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