Massachusetts gaming board, Wynn Resorts prepare for hearing

The Encore Harborwalk at Encore Boston Harbor in Everett, Mass., Friday, Aug. 24, 2018. The resort is scheduled to open in June. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

BOSTON — Wynn Resorts Ltd. is set to begin the process of restoring the confidence of gaming regulators in Massachusetts Tuesday.

During a three-day adjudicatory hearing at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission’s Investigations and Enforcement Bureau will present a report on accusations of sexual harassment by former Wynn Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn and how company executives responded to those accusations and when.

Steve Wynn has denied all harassment allegations.

Report to be released

The five-member commission is expected to question four IEB agents about their investigation. Then, Wynn executives will be given an opportunity to respond and make their own presentation.

In addition to calling forward CEO Matt Maddox and board Chairman Phil Satre, commissioners have asked the entire Wynn board of directors and several company executives to be present at the hearing that is expected to be conducted Tuesday, Wednesday and possibly Thursday.

Steve Wynn’s former wife and largest company shareholder, Elaine Wynn, also has been asked to be present.

Once commissioners have had all their questions answered, they’ll adjourn to a close-door session and deliberate on what action they’ll take, a process that could take several days.

Commissioners will then issue a written explanation of their determination. That determination could be to do nothing up to revoking the company’s gaming license or assessing a fine.

High stakes

The stakes are high for the company because it is planning to open its $2.6 billion resort, Encore Boston Harbor, in Everett, Massachusetts, in June and already has begun hiring employees and taking reservations.

Nevada regulators already have addressed the matter with the state Gaming Control Board issuing a 10-count complaint against the company for violating state statutes and regulations related to damaging the reputation of the state’s gaming industry. The Nevada Gaming Commission in February voted unanimously to accept a settlement with the company in addition to assessing a record $20 million fine against the company, but didn’t revoke or suspend the company’s license.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has been criticized for its handling of the Wynn license, vetted in 2013 and awarded in 2014, because it did not learn of a $7.5 million settlement between Steve Wynn and a manicurist who worked at Wynn Las Vegas that accused him of forcing her to have sex with him. The settlement was reported by the Wall Street Journal in January 2018 and prompted the IEB investigation as well as Steve Wynn’s departure from the company.

The company, in the meantime, has distanced itself from Steve Wynn and initiated a number of new policies as well as revamping the majority of its board with several women.

Richard N. Velotta at or. Follow on Twitter.