Wynn Resorts CEO Matt Maddox Praises Himself, Massachusetts Concludes Hearings

Posted on: April 5, 2019, 09:24h. 

Last updated on: April 5, 2019, 09:24h.

Wynn Resorts CEO Matt Maddox didn’t hold back in praising his performance leading the casino operator through a turbulent 12 months. It was more than a year ago that alleged sexual misconduct and harassment claims were made public against the company’s founder and former chief executive.

Wynn Resorts Boston casino Matt Maddox
Wynn Resorts CEO Matt Maddox wasn’t short on self-confidence this week in Boston. (Image: Jonathan Ng/Boston Herald)

Day three of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission’s (MGC) hearings into whether Wynn Resorts remains suitable to hold a casino license in wake of the scandal brought Maddox before the five-member board. A longtime protégé of Steve Wynn, Maddox assumed the position after the billionaire resigned from the company in February 2018.

I think that my record as a leader, when I took over February 7, has been quite strong. I think that if you were to ask character witness – CEOs of major banks, shareholders, all the major law firms, all of our investors, all of our employees, where I grew up, where I went to college, hundreds and hundreds of character witnesses from the top of the industry across the board to the bottom, I think you would hear that Matt Maddox has been an extraordinary leader since he took over,” Maddox said.

“I would like to be judged on the time since I took over and the actions I took. It’s the only real way to measure someone,” he concluded.

Elaine on Defensive

The MGC’s Investigations and Enforcement Bureau found in its 199-page report that Wynn Resorts executives were indeed aware of the alleged wrongdoings when it was bidding for the Boston casino license. Massachusetts gaming regulators say the disclosure failure made it “exceedingly difficult, if not impossible … to detect this potentially derogatory information.”

On Thursday, billionaire Elaine Wynn – the company’s largest individual shareholder who sat on the board at the time – denied that she should have disclosed the claims against her ex-husband. Mr. Wynn paid a manicurist $7.5 million after she said he raped her. He says it was consensual sex.

Mrs. Wynn told the MGC this week that she felt it was the responsibility of the company’s lawyers to decide what should and shouldn’t be disclosed to the state back in 2013. She also learned through the MGC investigation that Wynn Resorts was surveilling her following The Wall Street Journal’s expose on her ex-husband’s alleged years of sexual misconduct.

Mr. Wynn said last year that the allegations “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.”

Hearings Adjourned

Led by MGC Chairwoman Cathy Judd-Stein, the five commissioners will now meet privately after three days of hearings to determine what penalty, if any, is warranted on Wynn Resorts. The agency isn’t trying to decide if Mr. Wynn is guilty, but whether the casino company purposely withheld the allegations to better its prospects of winning the coveted $85 million gaming permit.

The worst-case scenario is the state revoking the license, which would jeopardize the future of the $2.6 billion Encore Boston Harbor. The integrated casino resort is scheduled to open in June.

“We will take our time making a decision,” Judd-Stein stated.