Business

Gov. Charlie Baker Weighs In on Allegations Against Steve Wynn

Several female employees have accused the casino mogul, who has plans to open a property in Everett, of sexual misconduct.


A beautiful sketch of a casino on the water

Planned Wynn casino in Everett. Rendering by Wynn.

In the wake of the Wall Street Journal’s bombshell story detailing a decades-long pattern of sexual misconduct, the casino mogul Steve Wynn has lost his role as finance chairman of the Republican National Committee, his relationship with the GOP’s Governors Association, and $463 million. But Wynn’s fate in Massachusetts still hangs in the balance.

Wynn, who is set to open a mammoth property in Everett in June 2019, is accused of forcing several female employees into non-consensual sex acts. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission said in a statement to the Boston Globe that it is “profoundly aware of the gravity of this matter” and will hold a panel hearing on Wynn’s behavior on Wednesday afternoon.

Gov. Charlie Baker advocated for the Republican Governors Association to return donations it had received from Wynn and quickly distanced himself from the Las Vegas scion, whose political capital rose due to his friendship with President Trump. Jim Conroy, the governor’s chief political strategist, told the Globe that Baker “is deeply disturbed” by the Journal’s reporting and said the association should not accept contributions from Wynn moving forward.

And yet, though Baker told WGBH that the allegations against Wynn “are appalling and disgraceful,” he deferred to the independent Gaming Commission to make the final decision on his future in Everett. According to the Massachusetts Gaming Act, opening a casino in the Bay State requires gaming license applicants maintain “integrity, honesty, good character, and reputation.” Should the Massachusetts body find evidence supporting the Journal’s story, Baker said the casino mogul would certainly fall below the Commission’s conduct standards.

The plans for the Wynn Boston Harbor include a sprawling $2.4 billion complex with more than 3,000 slot machines, 3 million square feet, and 4,000 jobs.