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Wynn spending big in Boston community

Mon, Apr 29, 11:54am by Staff Writer

Wynn Resorts has been in the limelight recently because of its speculated purchased of James Packer’s Crown Resorts.

Attention has recently shifted for the United States casino giant, which has been busy showering community groups in Boston and surrounds with corporate largesse.

The Australian Financial Review is reporting that Wynn Resorts is hoping to secure a lucrative licence to operate the new US$2.6 billion Encore Boston Harbor complex, which is supposed to open in June.

Donations aplenty

The Boston Symphony Orchestra picked up an extra US$25,000, the Boston Children’s Chorus received a donation of US$25,000 and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts hit the jackpot with a US$500,000 gift as Wynn sprayed out almost US$1 million in combined donations to 10 community groups and charities.

Other lucky winners include RIZE Massachusetts, which was dealt US$250,000 to put towards its mission to reduce the impact of opioid addition, and the Hispanic American Institute, which collected US$10,000.

Wynn is also getting some Italian saints on side, flipping US$10,000 to the local SS Cosmas and Damian Society for its annual festival paying homage to the patron saints of an Italian town where some of the locals hailed from back in the 1920s.

The sudden interest in Boston’s community sector came after some gruelling hearings by Massachusetts gaming regulators in early April that questioned Wynn’s sustainability to hold a casino licence in the state, putting the whole investment at risk.

Wynn and Crown not done with yet

There are many who believe that Wynn’s play for Packer’s Crown has only been temporarily shelved while the US regulatory wrinkles are ironed out.

Crown shares sit stubbornly at A$13.45, still hanging on to about half of the sharp 20 per cent jump that followed revelations Wynn was closing in on a $14.75 casino and scrip bid, which it promptly pulled.

Massachusetts regulators are scrutinising the Wynn corporate culture and how the company responded to allegations its former chief executive and founder Steve Wynn engaged in sexual misconduct overall several years.

He rejects the allegations.

Wynn is hoping the Massachusetts Gaming Commission will show it some mercy when it hands down its ruling on the licence in the coming days.

Should the verdict be a hefty fine and the all-clear to fire up the gaming tables on Boston Harbor, expect Wynn Resorts’ advisers – investment bankers from Moelis & Co and Deutsche Bank and lawyers from Allens – to get much busier.

Steve Wynn stepped down as chairman and chief executive of Wynn Resorts in February, 2018.

The company’s largest shareholder is Wynn’s ex-wife Elaine, who holds 9 per cent and has been waging her own campaign to roll some of the company’s directors.

Wynn security chief ousted

Wynn Resorts has removed its security chief after he acknowledged spying on the company co-founder and its employees.

Chief executive officer Matthew Maddox said James Stern, the executive vice president of corporate security, was informed last weekend the company would “no longer require his services”.

Stern told the commission last week that he watched company co-founder Elaine Wynn and three employees, including one named in The Wall Street Journal’s 2018 report of sexual misconduct allegations against Steve Wynn.

Stern is a former FBI agent who testified that he’d sent undercover operatives to monitor current and former employees, including former stylist Jorgen Nielsen.

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