Everett, MA - The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is one step closer to finalizing a gaming license for Encore Boston Harbor, the casino scheduled to open in Everett in June 2019. The commission voted on February 20th to settle the lawsuit brought by the former head of Wynn Resorts, Steve Wynn. Details of the settlement have not been made public and Wynn has yet to accept the terms.
Originally named Wynn Boston Harbor, the casino was re-branded as Encore Boston Harbor following the allegations of sexual harassment against CEO Steve Wynn. Wynn stepped down from his company Wynn Resorts in 2018 after dozens of women came forward with allegations of his sexual misconduct. Wynn has denied the accusations.
In light of the accusations against Steve Wynn, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission began an investigation to reevaluate the casino operator’s suitability to run a casino in the state. The focus of the investigation was whether Wynn Resorts' executive leadership was aware of these allegations against the former CEO at the time that the casino operator submitted its bid to build the Everett casino. Wynn sued the commission for the investigation's use of what he claimed were attorney-client privileged documents, which were given to the commission by Wynn Resorts without his permission.
Given the anticipated tax revenues and thousands of job openings expected at the Everett casino, no one wants to jeopardize the June 2019 opening of Encore Boston Harbor. As highlighted by the Boston Herald, court filings on behalf of the commission stated that a prolonged lawsuit and delayed investigation into the allegations against Wynn “...will almost certainly result in a delay in opening the gaming establishment, in turn delaying 4,500 full-time job opportunities, and depriving (Massachusetts) of millions of dollars in tax revenue every month.” Wynn Resorts has already agreed to pay a fine of an undetermined amount for the role that the casino operator played in covering up alleged sexual misconduct by Steve Wynn.
Elaine Driscoll of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission said in a statement that the findings of the investigative report will be available for public review as soon as possible.