The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is holding a three-day license suitability review of Wynn Resorts. The company has a license to operate a casino in Everett, just outside Boston. The gaming regulator investigated sexual misconduct allegations against Wynn Resort founder Steve Wynn and its report shows that executives of the company knew about the allegations and helped to cover them up.
Failure to report
According to the report, high-ranking executives of Wynn Resorts knew about the sexual misconduct allegations against Wynn but did not investigate the allegations, as required by company policy. The board of Wynn Resorts was not alerted to the allegations. Compliance committees and audit committees were also left in the dark.
As a result of the allegations, Steve Wynn was forced to resign as chairman and chief executive of the company last year. The resignation came just a short time after the Wall Street Journal described instances of sexual misconduct. Included in the allegations was that Wynn had put pressure on employees to have sex with him.
The report states: “In some instances, particular company executives, with the assistance of outside counsel, were part of affirmative efforts to conceal allegations against Mr. Wynn that came to their attention.”
The Gaming Commission of Massachusetts began its investigation into the matter after the Wall Street Journal published its report. The regulators found that the company failed to follow its own procedures for addressing the allegations.
Denying the allegations
Steve Wynn chose not to participate in the investigation conducted by the Commission. Brian T. Kelly, an attorney representing Wynn, said that Mr. Wynn denies the allegations of non-consensual sex and that nothing in the report by the commission changes that statement.
Mr. Kelly added further that it was not the job of the commission to decide if the allegations were true or false. He pointed out that the conduct of Mr. Wynn is not the focus of the hearing.
In the hearing, the commission cited several failings within Wynn Resorts. Such issues included not documenting the allegations and not recording information properly. It also found that the company did not properly evaluate potential conflicts involving attorneys that represented Wynn Resorts and Steve Wynn regarding the allegations.
The report by the commission included several documents and interviews. The regulator interviewed over 100 individuals during its investigation. The commission charged that because of the company culture, employees of Wynn Resorts feared that they would lose their job or would not be heard if they complained about Steve Wynn.
Wynn Resorts says that it has cooperated with the Commission and is not disputing the findings. The company has changed its status to a global enterprise that is overseen by an independent board of directors. The board’s makeup was completely changed because of the problems discovered within the company.
Steve Wynn is no longer associated with Wynn Resorts. They did not pay him severance and those who knew about the allegations against him and did not take action are no longer employed by the company.