Steve Wynn Attorneys Working With Massachusetts Gaming Commission to Expedite Investigation Lawsuit

Posted on: December 14, 2018, 11:00h. 

Last updated on: December 14, 2018, 08:54h.

Attorneys for Steve Wynn are working with lawyers for the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) in order to move along the billionaire’s lawsuit to block the state agency’s investigative report into his alleged sexual misconduct from being released publicly.

Steve Wynn lawsuit Encore Boston Harbor
If not quickly resolved, a lawsuit from Steve Wynn could push back the planned opening of Encore Boston Harbor. (Image: Jessica Rinaldi/Getty)

The disgraced casino tycoon’s attorneys filed a lawsuit early last month in Clark County, Nevada, against the MGC, the agency’s Investigations and Enforcement Bureau Director Karen Wells, and Wynn Resorts.

They litigation contends that the defendants have violated attorney-client privileges, and that their investigation has “total disregard for protecting the privileged communications of Mr. Wynn.”

Clark County Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez sided with Wynn, and issued a temporary order blocking any public release of the MGC’s investigative findings. However, this week she signed new orders that allow attorneys for the parties involved to work together to seal or redact certain parts of the report in order to allow the MGC to move its review forward.

Delay Detour

Steve Wynn’s lawsuit has pushed back the MGC from receiving Wells’ final report into whether Wynn Resorts executives had knowledge of its founder’s alleged sexual misconduct and kept such information from Massachusetts regulators during its bidding for the Boston area casino license.

MGC Interim Chair Gayle Cameron said at a meeting this month, “My fellow commissioners and I are ready to adjudicate this matter, and eager to assess the findings.” But that process cannot begin until Wynn’s lawsuit is settled.

Wynn attorney Jon Williams told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that his team will meet next week with the MGC and Wynn Resorts “to identify problem areas.” If the parties can agree on which information needs retracting and what can remain, Gonzalez could resolve the matter during a scheduled December 20 hearing.

That’s precisely what the MGC and Wynn Resorts want. Work continues at the $2.6 billion Encore Boston Harbor casino, and legal delays are threatening to postpone the property’s scheduled June 2019 opening.

Billions at Stake

The four-member MGC, which is short a commissioner following Stephen Crosby’s recent resignation, will decide if Wynn Resorts remains suitable to hold a casino license. The worst-case scenario for the company is the revocation of the permit it paid $85 million to obtain.

The agency could also suspend the license, or issue a substantial fine against Wynn Resorts. MGC Executive Director Edward Bedrosian says delays will not only penalize the casino, but also the state, city, and surrounding communities.

If the commission ultimately determines the company is still suitable to hold the license, such delay risks the opening of the project, postponement of the employment of thousands of workers, and enormous irreparable financial loss,” Bedrosian stated in court.

“If the commission determined that the company is no longer suitable, such delay would postpone additional proceedings to transfer the license and project to a suitable licensee and delay the considerable economic benefit of expanded legal gaming in the commonwealth,” he concluded.

Connecticut tribal gaming operator Mohegan Sun has already thrown its name into the potential bidding hat for Encore Boston Harbor. The Native American group had proposed a $1.1 billion casino resort in 2014, but the MGC chose Wynn instead.