Nevada Judge sets January 4 hearing on whether MassGaming has used privileged information while probing into sexual harassment allegations against Steve Wynn
The release of a report by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission on sexual allegations against businessman Steve Wynn will remain blocked until at least early January, a Nevada judge ruled Thursday.
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Following the January publication of a report by the Wall Street Journal detailing a “decades-long pattern” of sexual harassment by the casino mogul, MassGaming opened a probe into the multiple allegations leveled against Mr. Wynn. The gambling regulator also investigated how Wynn Resorts, the gaming and hospitality company founded by the businessman, addressed the allegations and whether it had any previous knowledge of those.
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MassGaming’s report aimed to determine whether Wynn Resorts was suitable to operate an integrated resort in the Greater Boston area. The Las Vegas company holds a gaming license from the Gaming Commission and is currently building the $2.5-billion Encore Boston Harbor hotel and casino complex. The property is slated to open doors in June 2019.
The commission was expected to release the results from its probe in December. However, Mr. Wynn filed last month a legal complaint in the Clark County District Court, seeking to block the reveal of the results from the investigation.
The businessman’s legal team argued that MassGaming was communicated information by Wynn Resorts that was protected by attorney-client privilege.
New Hearing Scheduled for January 4
Back in November, Clark County District Court Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez temporarily blocked the release of the MassGaming report, saying that she wanted to hear arguments from all involved parties. A hearing took place Thursday, December 20, but Judge Gonzalez did not rule on the matter.
Attorneys for Mr. Wynn, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, and Wynn Resorts will instead return to court on January 4 for a new hearing, during which the judge is expected to determine whether the gaming regulator’s report contains privileged information or not.
As mentioned earlier, MassGaming is looking to determine whether Wynn Resorts is suitable to operate Massachusetts’ second commercial casino resort. The property is slated to open doors on June 24, 2019, but concerns have been voiced that any delays in the release of the regulator’s report could result in delays in the resort’s launch. Wynn Resorts can even lose its license to operate the property, if deemed unsuitable by MassGaming.
As reported on Thursday by Casino News Daily, local lawmakers have grown frustrated by the delayed publication of the sexual harassment allegations report. They have also pointed out that any delays, including in the opening of the resort, could cost the state jobs and revenue. Encore Boston Harbor is expected to create more than 4,500 full-time jobs once fully operational.
Commenting on the latest developments, Wynn Resorts counsel Patrick Byrne said that the company supports the investigation and is doing everything it can to cooperate. Mr. Byrne went on to say that their desire is to “resolve these privilege issues as soon as possible” so that the investigation can proceed.
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