Steve Wynn Lawsuit Scheduled for January 4 Hearing, Longtime Board Member Departs Company

The lawsuit filed by Steve Wynn against his former company and Massachusetts state gaming regulators will have its day in a Nevada court early next year.

Steve Wynn most likely won't be in the Nevada courtroom in early January, but his lawyers will be in order to defend their claims of attorney-client privilege in the ongoing Massachusetts casino investigation. (Image: TIME)

Clark County District Court Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez has scheduled a January 4 hearing to listen to arguments presented by the billionaire's attorneys as to how the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) and Wynn Resorts have violated his attorney-client privileges.

Steve Wynn is suing to block the MGC's Investigations and Enforcement Bureau report on his alleged sexual misconduct from being released publicly. His attorneys argue that the state gaming agency and the company he founded have engaged in “total disregard for protecting” his “privileged communications.”

The MGC is determining if a penalty or potential license revocation is warranted for Wynn Resorts' $2.6 billion Encore Boston Harbor casino. The agency is investigating if the company purposely withheld knowledge of its founder's alleged sexual misconduct during its 2013 bidding for the coveted Boston-area gaming permit.

Continued Leadership Change

In a brief filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Wynn Resorts announced Friday that longtime board member Alvin Shoemaker will be retiring from the organization effective December 31. He was appointed to the board in 2002. The company says he won't be replaced – at least immediately – and the board will be reduced to nine members.

With Shoemaker's departure, six of the nine Wynn board of directors will be new members since the February resignation of Steve Wynn. Females account for a third of the group.

Wynn Chairman Phil Satre and CEO Matt Maddox are campaigning to convince gaming regulators that it's a new era at the casino company.

“I'm delighted with the changes,” Satre, who became chairman in November, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal this week. “We'll do our best to convince regulators of our qualification, the changes that we've made, and I would be remiss if I didn't say I'm optimistic because I believe in the steps that have been taken.”

Quick Resolution

Attorneys on both sides of the Steve Wynn lawsuit are working together to expedite the case and allow the four MGC commissioners to receive the investigate report and make a decision on the fate of Encore Boston Harbor. The Commission says it cannot review the materials until the legal matter is resolved, and the delay is threatening to push back the casino resort's planned June 2019 opening.

MGC Executive Director Edward Bedrosian says an “enormous irreparable financial loss” will be incurred if the state decides to revoke the casino license Wynn Resorts paid $85 million for in 2014.

Judge Gonzalez issued a temporary order blocking the MGC's investigative report earlier this month. This week, she issued new orders that allow attorneys for Wynn, Wynn Resorts, and the MGC to work collaboratively to decide which elements of the publication should be retracted from public release.

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