Wynn Resorts MGC-Mandated Independent Monitor Will Cost Company Millions Over Five Years
Posted on: August 16, 2019, 07:58h.
Last updated on: August 16, 2019, 08:57h.
Wynn Resorts will be on the hook for millions of dollars to cover expenses associated with an independent monitoring firm that will surveil the casino giant’s operations.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) has announced the appointment of DC-based law firm Miller & Chevalier to serve as the Independent Monitor of Wynn.
The MGC said the casino operator should expect to pay between $575,000 to $775,000 to cover the monitoring fees in the first six months alone. The cost is based on an estimated 860 to 1,150 hours of work performed by the law group.
Miller & Chevalier was issued a five-year contract to monitor Wynn Resorts in Massachusetts. However, the MGC says after three years Wynn and/or the commission can request an early termination of the arrangement.
The overall wellbeing, safety, and welfare of employees are a key metric of the gaming industry’s success here in the Commonwealth. A second but equally important metric is the importance of compliance and communication with the regulator,” MGC Chair Cathy Judd-Stein said.
She continued, “We believe that the team at Miller & Chevalier will ensure that the Company’s multitude of policy and organizational changes meet best practices.” On its website, Miller & Chevalier claims to have represented 40 percent of the Fortune 100 companies within the past three years.
Billionaire Steve Wynn, who is no longer with the company that bears his name, continues to deny he ever acted inappropriately with female staffers. However, the MGC found that the company failed to disclose knowledge of the sexual misconduct allegations during its bidding for the Boston casino license in 2013.
Wynn Resorts didn’t initially respond to the hiring of the independent monitor.
In its “Decision and Order” released in April, the MGC fined Wynn $35.5 million and issued a series of terms the company must abide in order to maintain its casino license for Encore Boston Harbor. One of those conditions was Wynn agreeing to allow an independent monitor observe its corporate policy and organizational overhaul in response to the state gaming agency’s investigative findings.
The MGC is additionally requiring Wynn to maintain a separation of chairman and CEO for 15 years, train all new employees on preventing harassment and discrimination, and immediately report any claims of misconduct to the Commission.
The $35.5 million fine includes a $500,000 penalty on CEO Matt Maddox for his “his clear failure to require an investigation about a specific spa employee complaint brought to his attention.” The chief executive is also being forced to enroll in leadership development programs.
The MGC says its Independent Monitor will “conduct a baseline assessment that will include, without limitation, a full review and evaluation of all policies and organizational changes adopted by the Company.”
The monitor will watch the implementation and compliance of all human resource policies, and make recommendations to the company as needed, which Wynn Resorts must comply. “The independent monitor will be responsible for evaluating and reporting to the Commission on the effectiveness of the Company’s policies,” the order reads.
In its first full month in operation, Encore Boston Harbor reported gross gaming revenue of $48.57 million, more than double MGM Springfield’s $20.4 million win.
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