State casino regulators agreed on Monday to remove Steve Wynn’s name from the license his former company was issued to operate a $2.4 billion resort casino under construction near Boston.
Wynn resigned as chairman and chief executive of Wynn Resorts in February after sexual misconduct allegations surfaced against him.
Wynn’s lawyer asked the Massachusetts Gaming Commission last month to remove Wynn as a “qualifier” on the casino license, because he no longer has a financial interest in or a business relationship with the company he founded, or in the casino scheduled to open next year in Everett, Massachusetts.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission agreed in its written decision, contingent upon Wynn not exercising his right to vote at the company’s May 16 annual shareholders’ meeting. Though Wynn has divested his stock in the company, he is entitled to vote because he held stock as of March, the panel said.
“The commission rejects the characterization by Mr. Wynn’s legal counsel that he is nothing more than an ordinary private citizen of the state of Nevada vis-a-vis Wynn Resorts,” the panel wrote. “There is, however, substantial evidence that the relationship between Mr. Wynn and Wynn Resorts has been terminated in a meaningful way such that Mr. Wynn no longer falls with the definition of qualifier at the conclusion of the upcoming annual shareholders meeting.”
The regulators also noted that Wynn Resorts was implementing a policy that would require any future communication between Steve Wynn and officers or directors of the company be reported to the legal counsel of its Massachusetts subsidiary, and for that information to be then passed on to the commission in a “timely manner.”
The decision does not end a separate investigation launched by the commission into Wynn Resorts and its handling of the sexual misconduct allegations, the outcome of which could determine if the company continues to hold the license it was awarded in 2014 for the only resort casino in the Boston area.
Massachusetts launched the review in January soon after The Wall Street Journal detailed sexual misconduct allegations, which Wynn has denied.
The company recently announced that it would rebrand the casino, changing its name from Wynn Boston Harbor to Encore Boston Harbor after some state officials suggested they no longer wanted Wynn on the nameplate for the resort.
Wynn Resorts spokesman Michael Weaver said the company was “pleased that the Massachusetts Gaming Commission has concluded Steve Wynn no longer has any involvement in our company and should no longer be considered a qualifier.” He said the company looks forward to moving ahead with the project.