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May 28, 2019

Gaming Commission plans five-year monitoring of Wynn

Photo | Courtesy Encore Boston Harbor in Everett

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is seeking an independent monitor to keep an eye on Wynn Resorts for five years, a condition of the commission's order penalizing the gambling company for its "significant" and "repetitive" failures related to sexual misconduct allegations against founder and former CEO Steve Wynn.

The commission announced last week that it had opened the competitive bidding process in search of a firm to evaluate the changes Wynn Resorts says it has made and to monitor the company as it works to implement new compliance and human resources policies and procedures.

"The Commission does not expect the monitor to substitute its judgment for that of the Company in these matters. Instead, the MGC is attempting to gain an understanding as to whether the approaches put in place by the Company are consistent with recognized best practices and are in fact effective," the commission wrote in its request for responses. "The independent monitor shall not review, evaluate, or otherwise assess gaming-related operations of the licensee, the Company or its subsidiaries or properties."

Within six months of being selected, the monitor is asked to conduct a baseline assessment of Wynn Resorts and then report to the commission at least annually for five years.

Bids are due June 28 and the commission said it anticipates that the contract would begin by mid-August.

Last month, the Gaming Commission ruled that Wynn Resorts could keep the license for its $2.6 billion Everett casino despite errors in handling issues involving Steve Wynn and the "considerable shortcomings" of current chief executive Matt Maddox. The commission fined the company $35 million, fined Maddox $500,000 and ordered that the company agree to be monitored by an independent observer.

Wynn Resorts has until Friday to pay the fine or challenge the commission's ruling in court. The company has not said which route it will pursue. Encore Boston Harbor in Everett is expected to open at 10 a.m. on June 23.

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