Elaine Wynn to Testify Before Massachusetts Gaming Regulators, State Hearing Begins This Week

Posted on: April 1, 2019, 12:32h. 

Last updated on: April 1, 2019, 12:33h.

Elaine Wynn, the ex-wife of Steve Wynn who is the largest single shareholder of the casino company she founded with her former husband, has been called to testify before the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) amid the state agency’s review into whether Wynn Resorts remains suitable to hold a gaming permit.

Elaine Wynn Resorts Encore Boston Harbor
Billionaire Elaine Wynn has been called to testify in Massachusetts regarding her former husband’s alleged actions. (Image: John Locher/AP)

On April 2, the MGC will formally begin hearings regarding the findings from its Investigations and Enforcement Bureau’s (IEB) probe into whether Wynn Resorts executives purposely withheld knowledge of Steve Wynn’s alleged sexual misconduct during the company’s 2013 bidding for the Boston casino license.

After the Wall Street Journal first exposed the allegations, Mr. Wynn blamed his ex-wife Elaine for seeking a “negative public relations campaign” to tarnish his reputation and gain a better divorce settlement.

The instigation of these accusations is the continued work of my ex-wife Elaine Wynn, with whom I am involved in a terrible and nasty lawsuit in which she is seeking a revised divorce settlement,” Mr. Wynn said in January 2018. “Elaine has explicitly threatened to slander and destroy me and I am surprised that the media is allowing itself to be used to advance this agenda.”

Should the agency conclude that the Las Vegas-based company is no longer suitable to do business in Massachusetts, the five-member panel could rescind the permit Wynn Resorts paid $85 million for. That worst-case scenario would also throw the future of the $2.6 billion Encore Boston Harbor integrated resort into chaos.

Mandatory Attendance

On Tuesday, the MGC will begin questioning IEB officials into what their investigation found. After detailing the report, Wynn Resorts executives will have a chance to make their own case. Gaming Commission members will then question certain executives of the casino company.

The MGC has notified Wynn Resorts that the following individuals should be present this week in Boston:

Matthew Maddox – Wynn Resorts CEO

Ellen Whittemore – Executive VP

Craig Billing – CFO and treasurer

Elaine Wynn – Co-founder

Philip Satre – Board chair

Dee Dee Myers – Board director

Robert DeSalvio – Encore Boston Harbor president

Rose Huddleston – Senior VP of human resources

Jacqui Krum – Senior VP and general counsel

Brian Gullbrants – Encore Boston Harbor executive VP operations

James Stern – Head of security

It was more than a year ago that reports surfaced regarding Steve Wynn’s alleged actions. Among the most scandalous is a claim that the billionaire arranged a $7.5 million payment to an employee manicurist after he forced her to engaged in sexual intercourse.

License Revocation

Should the MGC conclude that Wynn Resorts isn’t an acceptable partner to conduct gaming in the state, thousands of jobs would hang in peril, and potentially millions of dollars in tax revenue and economic benefits would be thrown into jeopardy. That’s why analysts believe a substantial fine is a likelier result of the hearings.

Gaming analyst Clyde Barrow predicts Wynn executives and state regulators will but all the blame on the billionaire. “It’ll look bad for Wynn, and the commission will plead, ‘We didn’t know to look for it.”

Nevada allowed Wynn Resorts to retain their licenses, but issued a record $20 million fine on the company.