Gaming panel talks Wynn strategy
Commission mired in lawsuit over Everett casino
State gaming regulators met behind closed doors yesterday to flesh out a strategy for the ongoing legal fight in Nevada with billionaire casino magnate Steve Wynn.
“It’s awkward for all of us,” said Gayle Cameron, Massachusetts Gaming Commission interim chairwoman. “We made a decision early on to move in a parallel track, meaning we would be investigating and the licensee was moving forward with the project.”
Commissioners went into a closed-door executive session to discuss “what the challenges are moving forward,” said Cameron. “There is pending litigation in Nevada which has to be handled first before we can move forward.”
The gaming commission launched its investigation into Wynn Resorts in January after a Wall Street Journal report that month detailed allegations of sexual misconduct against the company’s then-CEO, Steve Wynn.
Cameron said the commissioners “were ready for an adjudicatory process” had the casino czar not filed a lawsuit last month.
In court filings, Wynn’s attorneys wrote that “Mass Gaming officials have simply donned the judge’s robe, cracked the gavel, and unilaterally determined that Mr. Wynn has failed to sustain his burden of establishing that any privilege applies to the unknown universe of documents acquired during the Mass Gaming investigation.”
In November, the Herald reported that a Nevada judge blocked the Commission from releasing its monthslong investigation, stymieing state gaming regulators from deciding if Wynn Resorts should be allowed to keep its Everett casino license.
Attorneys for the commission argued in court filings a protracted litigation “will almost certainly result in a delay in opening the gaming establishment, in turn delaying 4,500 full-time job opportunities, and depriving (Massachusetts) of millions of dollars in tax revenue every month.”
Construction at Encore Boston Harbor is chugging along while the Commission’s investigation is ongoing. The $2.6 billion casino resort along the Mystic River is slated to open in June 2019.
Last week, the Herald reported Mohegan Sun is preparing to make a push for the Everett casino should Wynn Resorts lose its license, and has met with at least one local community about its interest.
AWKWARD SPOT: The Massachusetts Gaming Commission yesterday met behind closed doors to discuss its strategy for the ongoing legal battle in Nevada with casino mogul Steve Wynn. ‘It’s awkward for all of us,’ Gaming Commission interim chairwoman Gayle Cameron, above at a meeting in April, said.