Suffolk Downs has given up ambitions to operate a casino in the Greater Boston area, even if MassGaming deems Wynn Resorts unsuitable to hold a gaming license
The Suffolk Downs thoroughbred race track will not pursue a license for a casino in the Greater Boston area, should the Massachusetts Gaming Commission decide to revoke the license currently held by Wynn Resorts.
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Suffolk Downs was among the bidders for the Greater Boston gaming license, but its bid lost to that made by the Las Vegas casino and hospitality giant. Owners of the race track are suing Wynn Resorts, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, and several other involved parties, arguing that the selection and licensing process was marred by cronyism and a number of other improprieties. Suffolk Downs is seeking $3 billion in damages for losing the “tainted” bidding process.
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The Suffolk Downs CEO, Chip Tuttle, told the Boston Herald on Monday, that even if the bidding process reopens, they will not seek a license. “That ship has sailed,” Mr. Tuttle said.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is assessing Wynn Resort’s suitability to operate an integrated resort in the Greater Boston area. The company has entered the final stages of construction of the $2.6 billion Encore Boston Harbor. The luxury resort is located along the Mystic River in Everett and is slated to open doors on June 23.
Wynn Resorts has already begun holding job fairs in a bid to recruit around 5,000 employees for its new property.
MassGaming Obtains “Critical” Information
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission received Friday a report compiled by its in-house Investigators and Enforcement Bureau. The report presented the bureau’s findings in a nearly year-long investigation into sexual harassment allegations against casino mogul Steve Wynn that surfaced in early 2018.
MassGaming launched the probe to discover evidence about the allegations as well as whether Wynn Resorts had any previous knowledge of those and how it addressed them. The gambling regulator is now looking to rule on whether the company should be given the go-ahead to launch and operate its Massachusetts property or have its license revoked.
The Boston Herald reported Monday that according to “heavily redacted minutes” of a closed door meeting that took place last Friday, the Gaming Commission has obtained “critical” information that could play a role in determining whether the Las Vegas gaming and hospitality giant can keep its gaming license.
The Friday meeting minutes showed that the commission has been provided with a complaint to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that was filed against Mr. Wynn just a few months before Wynn Resorts was awarded the Greater Boston license.
According to a statement by the Deputy Director of MassGaming’s team of investigators, Loretta Lillios, the “2014 EEOC matter is a crucial piece of evidence” and that without it the Gaming Commission “may not have fair and accurate information to review Wynn Resorts’ suitability.”
While the 2014 EEOC complaint was labeled a critical piece of evidence, this does not automatically mean that Wynn Resorts’ license is threatened.
Massachusetts gaming commissioners have pointed out that they would try to make their decision about the company’s suitability to operate the state’s second full-fledged casino before its scheduled June 23 opening.
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