Barbara Howard: Out with the old and in with the new. It will no longer be known as Wynn Boston Harbor. Instead, the casino being built in Everett is being renamed Encore Boston Harbor. This, to distance the project from Steve Wynn, the embattled namesake and former CEO; Wynn, facing multiple allegations of sexual misconduct. That name change was announced today [Friday] at a hearing in front of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, which is investigating Wynn Resorts about its suitability even to hold a casino license. WGBH Radio’s Tina Martin was at that meeting. Hi, Tina.
Martin: Hi there, Barbara.
Howard: So this name change, it's part of a larger push by Wynn Resorts to distance itself from Steve Wynn, right?
Martin: Absolutely. In the hearing today, CEO Matt Maddox made it clear that Steve Wynn has sold off all of his shares in the company, that there is no communication with him that has anything to do with the company - even down to pieces of art that are owned by Steve Wynn that have been in some of the properties have been returned to him. And he's no longer, of course, on the property. So they made that very clear today.
Howard: OK. Well the Wynn name - it is pretty toxic, wouldn't you say, right about now?
Martin: Well, you know, I will let the CEO Matt Maddox respond to that, because I asked him that immediately following the hearing.
Sound from hearing with CEO Matt Maddox: I'm proud of the Wynn brand. I am proud of the Wynn brand and so are people all over the world.
Howard: OK, well, hmmm — besides, that name change, what else has Wynn Resorts done to distance itself from Wynn?
Martin: Well, the name change was really the big, big issue today — is just making sure that they have some other kind of representation other than that Wynn brand there. And just making sure that the commissioners understood that all the shares have been sold, that Steve Wynn is strictly a member of the public, he's not an employee, he's not a shareholder, and he has absolutely nothing to do with the casinos. And they made that clear over and over and over again this morning.
Howard: What about people in Everett? The local officials there, they have a huge stake in this.
Martin: They have a huge stake in it. So it's a $2.5 billion investment in Everett. 1,600 people working daily on the property. When this is done, they're expected to employ 3,500 to 4,000 people in Everett. So both Mayor Carlo DeMaria and Wayne Matewsky today both told me that they were very pleased with the efforts that Wynn has made to separate themselves from Steve Wynn, and they are looking forward to the project going forward.
Howard: Okay. Thanks for joining us, Tina.
Martin: You bet.
Howard: That's WGBH Radio's Tina Martin. She was at today's Massachusetts Gaming Commission hearing on Wynn Resorts. The company’s changing the name of the casino in Everett from Wynn Boston Harbor to Encore Boston Harbor, dropping the last name of the embattled former CEO Steve Wynn.