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MassGaming Grills Wynn Resorts CEO at Critical Hearing

Wynn Resorts CEO Matthew Maddox faced grilling questions about his leadership and claims of lack of any knowledge of recurring sexual harassment incidents at the company during the second day of MassGaming’s hearing.

The critical three-day hearing will help the Massachusetts Gaming Commission decide on the fate of the Las Vegas casino giant in the state. Wynn Resorts is building the $2.6 billion Encore Boston Harbor in the city of Everett near Boston. The property is slated to open doors on June 23.

The two-hour interview of Wynn Resorts’ CEO before the Commission was the highlight of the second day of the hearing. Mr. Maddox served as President of the company until its former boss, Steve Wynn, stepped down from the CEO role last February, following the publication of a Wall Street Journal article detailing a decades-long pattern of sexual misconduct by the casino mogul.

Since news about multiple sexual harassment incidents involving Mr. Wynn and Wynn Resorts employees emerged, Mr. Maddox has maintained that he had no previous knowledge of what was going on in the company.

Commissioner Gayle Cameron was among the gaming officials to grill Mr. Maddox during the hearing with different important questions about how he missed all the red flags that something was going on.

What does it say about your leadership?

During the Wednesday hearing, Mr. Maddox said that at first he was led to believe that the bombshell WSJ article was part of Mr. Wynn’s ex-wife Elaine Wynn’s litigation strategy against the businessman and Wynn Resorts. The company’s current CEO also admitted that the state of denial he was in immediately after the publication of the scandalous report, has clouded his judgment.

Asked by Commissioner Cameron whether he believed all women that had leveled sexual misconduct allegations against Mr. Wynn had lied, Mr. Maddox said that in the moments of crisis it was a natural reaction to deny everything.

Mr. Wynn has called the allegations against him preposterous, but has said that he has had multiple consensual relationships with Wynn Resorts staff over the years.

Ms. Cameron pressed on with questions about why Wynn Resorts staff had not told Mr. Maddox about the sexual harassment incidents while he was the company’s President. “What does it say about your leadership if they think it’s OK that all these things can be happening but yet you were never notified,” the commissioner went on.

Mr. Maddox responded by saying that staff members were probably trying to protect Mr. Wynn and that the last thing they would want to do is tell him as he was known to be a “straight arrow.”

Ms. Cameron said that the former Wynn Resorts President was clearly a straight arrow employees could go right around. The executive responded that Mr. Wynn was the casino operator’s boss at the time, even though he believed the reporting line should have indeed been clearer.

Mr. Maddox told commissioners he was unaware of the scope and true reasons behind multiple settlements between Mr. Wynn and company workers. One of those settlements involved the disgraced casino boss paying $7.5 million to a Wynn Las Vegas manicurist. Other settlements involved Mr. Wynn paying spa employees who were allegedly asked by the billionaire businessman to give him a “sensual massage.”

Asked whether Mr. Maddox has met spa and salon staff since he stepped in as CEO of Wynn Resorts to listen to and reassure them, the executive said that he has not conducted such group meetings yet.

The final day of the hearing is set to take place today. However, a decision on whether Wynn Resorts will be allowed to keep its casino license in Massachusetts is likely weeks from being announced as commissioners are now set to review the information gained over the course of the past three days.

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The post MassGaming Grills Wynn Resorts CEO at Critical Hearing appeared first on Casino News Daily.

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April 2019
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