Wynn Officials Hid Sexual Harassment Claims, Probe Finds

By Janelle Lawrence and Christopher Palmeri | April 2, 2019

Former executives at Wynn Resorts Ltd. hid from Massachusetts gaming authorities allegations that Steve Wynn sexually harassed women, investigators working for the regulator said in a report Tuesday.

The report comes as the Massachusetts Gaming Commission considers whether to revoke Wynn Resorts’ license in the state. The company is planning to open the $2.6 billion Encore Boston Harbor resort in June. It’s the only casino in the Boston area.

“Inaction and failures on the part of the identified former executives at this publicly traded company, which was led by its founder at the time, appear to have contributed to a culture where employees were reluctant to report allegations against Mr. Wynn to management,” the 200-page report said.

Wynn, the company’s founder and former chief executive officer, stepped down in February of 2018 following reports that he sexually harassed a number of employees over his career. He has denied that any of his sexual relationships were non-consensual. He later sold all his holdings in the company.

The commission has scheduled hearings over the next three days.

At the start of Tuesday’s session, Wynn’s Chief Executive Officer Matthew Maddox apologized and told the commission the company is changing from one that was “about a man” to one that has values.

“Our company was shaken to its core,” Maddox said. “We were in crisis and many of us were in denial.”

He said he later realized there were many victims and many of them felt powerless. “For that, I am deeply remorseful,” he said.

The commissioners will later enter closed-door deliberations. Once a decision is made on the license, the commission will issue a written finding, although exactly when that happens hasn’t been decided.

‘Deeply Troubled’

The company has taken a number of steps to distance itself from its founder, including naming a new chairman, CEO and four female board members. Wynn Resorts was fined $20 million, the largest penalty ever imposed by Nevada regulators, in February but the company didn’t lose its license to operate there.

“We are deeply troubled that certain former executives did not follow company protocols when becoming aware of allegations against the company’s founder, former chairman and CEO,” Wynn Resorts said in a statement Tuesday. The company has undergone a “corporate transformation” and has begun a deep look at its management, policies, procedures and culture,” it said.

Was this article valuable?

Here are more articles you may enjoy.