Last Wednesday, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission voted unanimously to approve an agreement reached with casino mogul Steve Wynn that would allow its commissioners to access a report by the agency’s investigative arm, the Investigations and Enforcement Bureau, regarding Wynn’s alleged sexual misconduct and whether the casino should still be approved for a license.
In November, Wynn sued Karen Wells, director of the IEB, and his former company Wynn Resorts for providing the IEB with documents related to his sexual misconduct allegations at the company without his permission. As a result, the report seen by the commissioners may not be the complete one filed by the IEB.
Attorney General Maura Healey said on Boston Public Radio on Tuesday that she is “anxious” to see what the full report says, but is fairly confident the investigators will be able to deliver a thorough report that allows the commissioners to make an informed decision.
“The commission has an obligation and a duty to do this carefully and thoroughly, and I expect and hope that’s what they will do,” Healey said on her monthly "Ask the AG" segment on BPR.
Though the casino’s license was approved in 2014, the revelations of rape and other sexual misconduct by Wynn against employees at his casinos that surfaced in January 2018 caused the MGC to reconsider and open an investigation. Since then, Wynn has resigned from the company and sold all of his shares, but questions still remain about how much members of the board and other executives knew about the misconduct.
On Tuesday, the Nevada Gaming Commission fined Wynn Resorts a record $20 million for “turning a blind eye” to Wynn’s behavior. Additionally, documents from the settlement reviewed by the Associated Press say the company acknowledged executives were aware of Wynn’s behavior, but chose not to do anything about it.
While Healey has promised to strictly enforce casino regulations, and was opposed to the casino in the first place, she said the most important thing right now is for the MGC to focus on the investigation, and has no reason to believe Wynn’s settlement will impede their ability to fairly make a decision.
“The [most] important [thing] is to make sure that for this first go-round [of building a casino in Massachusetts] that it’s done well, that it’s done with complete information... and that’s what the focus should be on,” Healey said. “The fact that this structure is built or near built should not be what drives the decision making of the commission.”