by PHILIP MARCELO, Associated Press | April 30, 2018
BOSTON (AP) - Wynn Resorts has renamed the $2.5 billion casino it is building outside of Boston to Encore Boston Harbor, as the company continues to distance itself from founder Steve Wynn after sexual misconduct allegations.
New CEO Matthew Maddox confirmed the long-speculated change to state gambling regulators Friday as they considered the company's request to remove Wynn's name from its Massachusetts casino license. Wynn resigned as chairman and CEO and later sold his company shares following the allegations, which he denies.
"This company is not about a man. Steve Wynn is not Wynn Resorts," Maddox said. "Wynn Resorts is about the 25,000 employees that grow this company every day."
Maddox said banners around the Everett waterfront site that once heralded the coming of "Wynn Boston Harbor" were being removed Friday, and new ones bearing the "Encore" moniker - also used at one of the company's Las Vegas casinos - were going up in their place.
Massachusetts Gaming Commission members didn't comment on the change, which doesn't require state approval. They're expected to issue a decision next week on whether Steve Wynn should still be considered a part of the Massachusetts project for regulatory purposes. The commission has stressed that even if Wynn's name were removed from the company's casino license, it would not interrupt the broader review of Wynn Resorts.
The five-member panel is investigating what the company's board might have known about the allegations, including a $7.5 million settlement with one accuser that wasn't disclosed when the state awarded the company a license in 2014. A lawyer for Steve Wynn has argued that the commission no longer has jurisdiction over him because he's a private citizen divested from "all ownership interests" in his namesake company.
Maddox outlined other ways the company is changing its corporate culture, including appointing three new women to the board of directors, providing paid parental leave, changing its sexual harassment training and creating a new department focused on gender equality, diversity and female leadership.
"Things are moving at lightning speed," he said. "We are moving this company forward. We're taking these issues very seriously."