Planners thinking of pre-booking the new Wynn Boston Harbor opening in summer 2019 are on alert as the Massachusetts Gaming Commission announced it is set to meet over allegations of sexual impropriety of Steve Wynn. The announcement comes less than 24 hours after Steve Wynn resigned as chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts citing, “an avalanche of negative publicity” over the accusations detailed in a Wall Street Journal report.
Wynn Resorts is building a $2.4 billion casino and hotel in Everett, outside Boston, that is scheduled to open June 24, 2019.
On January 28, the Gaming Commission released a statement saying, “The Commission is now aware of and is taking very seriously the troubling allegations detailed in the Wall Street Journal article. The suitability and integrity of our gaming licensees is of the utmost importance, and ensuring that suitability is an active and ongoing process.” If the MGC finds that Wynn Resorts leadership violates the Code of Ethics and is found unsuitable, the development will not be granted a license for gambling. It is not known if the development will go ahead without a gaming license.
At the opening bell today, Wynn stock on the Nasdaq rose eight percent on the news that he was stepping down and being replaced by Wynn Resorts President Matt Maddox. Wynn currently owns almost 12 percent of the company.
Wynn has attributed the accusations to a smear campaign by his ex-wife, but after The Wall Street Journal reported a $7.5 million settlement to an employee and dozens of other accusations from current and former employees, the pressure on Wynn to step down increased.
Wynn resigned as finance chairman of the Republican National Committee last month.
The Wynn Resorts board had begun an investigation into the allegations and appeared to be supportive. Board member Boone Wayson announced the resignation, saying, “Steve Wynn is an industry giant. He is a philanthropist and a beloved leader and visionary. He played the pivotal role in transforming Las Vegas into the entertainment destination it is today.”
In his statement, Wynn denied any wrongdoing and called the allegations of improper behavior “preposterous.”
According to the South China Morning Post, shares of Wynn Macau were suspended early February 7 but should resume trading within a day.
Full statements from Steve Wynn and Boone Wayson can be found here.
Wynn Resorts currently operates hotels and casinos in Las Vegas, Nev.; Macau; and People’s Republic of China.