MassGaming can finally begin its review of a probe conducted by its in-house investigative team into sexual allegations against casino mogul Steve Wynn
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission will today finally receive the report on the sexual misconduct allegations leveled against casino mogul Steve Wynn prepared by the regulator’s investigative team.
Local news outlet the Boston Herald reported citing the commission’s Executive Director Ed Bedrosian that once the Investigations and Enforcement Bureau hands its report to commissioners, the regulatory body can formally begin preparations for a hearing at which it would announce its decision whether Wynn Resorts is suitable to operate the $2.5 billion Encore Boston Harbor casino resort in the Greater Boston region.
Mr. Bedrosian told commissioners yesterday that preparatory work would include their review of the report and assessment of its findings, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission’s legal team working with Wynn Resorts on pre-hearing issues, the regulator’s investigative division preparing a presentation of its probe, and finally setting a date for the adjudicatory hearing.
MassGaming’s in-house team of investigators launched a probe into sexual misconduct allegations leveled against Mr. Wynn by former and current Wynn Resorts staff shortly after last year’s publication of a detailed Wall Street Journal article on the issue.
The regulatory body wanted to discover whether those allegations were true, how Wynn Resorts responded to complaints by employees, and if the company had previous knowledge and was involved in alleged off-court settlements reached with affected staff members to keep quiet.
Wynn Resorts was selected a few years ago as the preferred bidder for the construction of a Las Vegas-style casino resort in the city of Everett, near Boston. The company’s $2.5 billion is nearing completion and is slated to open doors June 23. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission will be looking to issue its decision whether the company is suitable to operate the property before that date.
Details about the Adjudicatory Process
Mr. Bedrosian said yesterday that he expects the adjudicatory hearing to be a multi-day process. On the first day, the commission’s Executive Director expects investigators to summarize their findings and Wynn Resorts to ask questions and present its own evidence to the gambling regulator. Commissioners will too be expected to ask questions.
Commenting on the anticipated formal start of the adjudicatory process, Commissioner Enrique Zuniga said yesterday that “there’s quite a bit of uncertainty relative to the time frame”. He went on to say that they are “anxious to see [the report] and address what comes with it.”
The gaming regulator is finally able to move on to assessing its investigators’ report after it reached a settlement with Mr. Wynn, who sued the regulator and Wynn Resorts in a Nevada court last year, arguing that the company had communicated information to MassGaming during its probe that violated attorney-client privilege.
The Gaming Commission originally planned to release the results of its investigative team’s probe in December, but the presiding judge in the case blocked temporarily the publication of the report, saying that she wanted to hear more arguments from all involved parties.
The gambling regulator voted last month to settle the issue off the court floor in a bid to avoid protracted litigation. The settlement with Mr. Wynn also provided commissioners with access to critical investigative information.
The regulator’s investigative report will be released to the public on the first day of the adjudicatory process, commission spokeswoman Elaine Driscoll said.
Wynn Resorts has already begun holding career fairs for Encore Boston Harbor. The company has said that its property would employ around 5,000 people.
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