Steve Wynn No Longer Has Control Over Namesake Company, Massachusetts Gaming Commission Rules

Posted on: May 8, 2018, 06:47h. 

Last updated on: May 8, 2018, 06:47h.

According to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC), the relationship between Steve Wynn and his former casino company has been successfully dissolved.

Steve Wynn Encore Boston Harbor
The Steve Wynn signature no longer accompanies the $2.5 billion integrated resort in Everett, Massachusetts, which is now known as Encore Boston Harbor. (Image: Chris Christo/Boston Herald)

In a ruling issued this week, state regulators concluded that the billionaire’s previous ownership and executive capacity at Wynn Resorts doesn’t have any bearing on the future of the company’s $2.5 billion integrated resort being built in Everett called Encore Boston Harbor.

The five-member MGC said presented evidence led to their determination that Steve Wynn is no longer an “individual qualifier,” or person with a professional interest in the Massachusetts gaming license issued to Wynn MA, LLC.

Though he continues to maintain he committed no wrongdoing, Wynn resigned in February after numerous allegations of sexual misconduct made against came to light. In late March, the disgraced Las Vegas visionary sold his entire stake in the company he founded in 2002.

In a statement, the MGC said Steve Wynn “is no longer an officer or director of Wynn Resorts, and accordingly, he can no longer exercise control or provide direction.”

However, the commission added that because of Wynn’s 12 percent stock ownership as of the beginning of March, he would still be entitled to voting rights at the company’s annual shareholders meeting scheduled for May 16. The MGC says upon verification that Steve Wynn will not exercise his right to vote, “he will be de-designated as a qualifier.”   

Win for Wynn Resorts

The MGC conclusion is the first major victory for new Wynn Resorts CEO Matt Maddox. His company remains under investigation by the state gaming regulatory board as to whether it’s suitable to hold a casino license.

But the MGC removing Steve Wynn’s name from the operating permit, conditioned on his presumed decision not to vote at this month’s shareholder meeting, essentially says the Encore Boston Harbor no longer has any association to the former casino tycoon.

“Steve Wynn is not Wynn Resorts,” Maddox declared last month to the MGC. In this week’s adjudicatory ruling, it appears the gaming commission agrees.

Wynn Shunned

The MGC’s Investigations and Enforcement Bureau continues to probe whether Wynn Resorts executives and/or board members knew about the sexual allegations, most specifically a $7.5 million settlement payment made in 2005 to a manicurist who claimed she was forced into having sex with the billionaire. The check was written from a shell limited liability company called Entity Y LLC.

During the bidding process, Massachusetts gaming regulators determined Wynn Resorts and associated individual qualifiers were “suitable” for licensure. The MGC specifically noted that Steve Wynn was “highly ethical,” and “a perfectionist who is passionate about everything he does.”

MGC Chairman Stephen Crosby said in the wake of the bombshell allegations that “the people of Massachusetts have the right to know what the hell happened.”

Wynn Resorts will wait patiently to see where the commission’s investigation comes down. In the meantime, the company is implementing a policy that requires all executives and board members to notify their legal team within 48 hours of any communication with Steve Wynn, which in turn will disclose such correspondence to the MGC.