Wynn Resorts backs CEO Maddox, pays Massachusetts fines

Steven Senne / AP

In this Jan. 2, 2019, file photo, construction continues on the Encore Boston Harbor luxury resort and casino in Everett, Mass., being built by Wynn Resorts.

The Wynn Resorts board of directors today fired back at the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, which last month decided to fine Wynn CEO Matt Maddox.

On April 30, the commission levied a $500,000 fine on Maddox after finding that he failed to investigate at least one allegation of misconduct that previously came against company founder and former CEO Steve Wynn.

In a statement released today, the board offered its support for Maddox, indicating that it disagreed with the finding that the CEO had violated company policy.

“We are pleased that neither the commission’s investigation and enforcement bureau, nor the special committee of the board, found that he, or any other current company executives, violated any company policies in managing the allegations against the company’s founder,” the board’s statement said.

The board also indicated that it “delivered payment” of the fine against Maddox and a larger $35 million fine against the company following what the commission referred to as years of uninvestigated allegations of sexual misconduct against Steve Wynn.

Wynn Resorts plans to open a $2.6 billion resort, Encore Boston Harbor, on June 23. The commission made paying the fines a condition of obtaining a casino license.

In disagreeing with the Massachusetts commission’s decision, the Wynn Resorts board pointed to an earlier investigation conducted by the Nevada Gaming Control Board, which essentially praised Maddox for taking “corrective actions” in the wake of the public allegations against Wynn.

“The Nevada Gaming Control Board conducted its own year-long investigation and reaffirmed Matt Maddox’s good standing in Nevada,” the board’s statement said. “We believe Matt’s leadership has been, and will continue to be, essential in our transformation from a founder-led company to an innovative global corporation.”