Wynn Resorts to retain Massachusetts license, pay huge fine
The fine is larger than what Nevada forced the company to pay
In order to begin the road to recovery after Steve Wynn’s embarrassing sexual misconduct escapades, Wynn Resorts was forced to pay $20 million in fines to the Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC). It was the largest fine the NGC had ever levied against any company and was, perhaps, the largest ever issued by any jurisdiction. Massachusetts has now done one better, issuing an even bigger fine against Wynn as a result if its own investigation into the company’s actions.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) announced yesterday that Wynn is going to have to cough up $35 million in penalties. Regulators in both Nevada and Massachusetts didn’t buy the argument that the company didn’t know what its founder and former CEO were up to and want to try and make sure the message is clear – companies are held accountable for the actions of their executives.
The MGC decided that Wynn can keep its license for the Encore Boston Harbor project, much to the delight of the company, but stated that it was “profoundly disturbed” by “repeated systemic failures and pervasive culture of non-disclosure presented in the [report].”
MGC commissioners added in issuing their decision, “Specifically, the corporate culture of the founder-led organization led to disparate treatment of the CEO in ways that left the most vulnerable at grave risk. While the Company has made great strides in altering that system, this Commission remains concerned by the past failures and deficiencies.”
Some high-profile individuals in Massachusetts had called for the ouster of Wynn CEO Matt Maddox, who was a close friend to Steve Wynn, as a condition of the company retaining the license. The MGC apparently didn’t agree and Maddox will remain at the helm, but the commission did give him a slap on the wrist, as well. He is going to have to pay a fine of $500,000 for not investigating a company employee’s complaint against Steve Wynn when he was serving as Wynn’s president.