By Brendan Clogston
Mohegan Sun is taking another shot at Encore Boston Harbor’s casino license, amending its 2015 legal complaint with Suffolk Superior Court – arguing that the Gaming Commission favored Wynn Resorts and didn’t give the Connecticut casino a fair shot at the license. Mohegan Sun’s amendment alleges that revelations of sexual misconduct regarding Steve Wynn, the founder of Encore Boston Harbor’s parent company, reveal an oversight on the part of the gaming commission large enough to invalidate the casino license awarded to Wynn Resorts over a rival Mohegan Sun proposal in Revere in 2014.
“The Gaming Commission’s failure to uncover the allegations of Steve Wynn’s reprehensible conduct and the lack of corporate controls in its initial investigation of Wynn Resorts is another example of the bias and flaws in the Commission’s approach to the Region A licensing decision,” Kenneth Leonetti, an attorney for Mohegan Sun, said in a statement.
“There were multiple sources – including books, reported lawsuits, and documents stemming from those lawsuits – available to the Commission during the suitability determination, licensing proceeding, and after the license award which discussed and disclosed Mr. Wynn’s sexual misconduct and mistreatment of employees,” the proposed amended complaint says. “Despite this poorly-kept secret, nowhere in the IEB’s report on Wynn’s suitability is there any indication that the issue of sexual harassment was investigated, even superficially.”
The amended complaint has yet to be accepted by a judge. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is stating that the investigation into Wynn is ongoing and should not be litigated until it is complete. “The [Investigations and Enforcement Bureau] plans to issue its suitability report to the Commission sometime this summer, and the Commission will then conduct an adjudicatory hearing,” the commission said.
Steve Wynn resigned as CEO of Wynn Resorts shortly after a Wall Street Journal report earlier this year detailed a decades-long pattern of sexual misconduct. The company’s new leadership team, led by new CEO Matt Maddox, has cooperated with the gaming commission, recently successfully removing Wynn’s name from the company’s license after proving that it had successfully severed ties him.
The $2.4 billion casino project, already far along in construction on Lower Broadway in Everett, has weathered numerous lawsuits in the past. This is only the latest from Mohegan Sun, but previously the City of Boston, the City of Revere and the City of Somerville had unsuccessfully attempted to block the project. Mohegan’s suit is a longshot, especially while the gaming commission continues its investigation into Wynn and Wynn Resorts’s leadership.