Wynn Resorts in Massachusetts allowed to drop Wynn from license

BOSTON, May 7 (Reuters) - Massachusetts' gambling regulator on Monday said it will allow Wynn Resorts Ltd to remove founder Steve Wynn's name from its license for a planned $2.5 billion casino following allegations that Wynn subjected women who worked for him to unwanted sexual advances.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission's decision came as state regulators investigate the allegations as part of a process that could affect whether Wynn Resorts continues to be deemed suitable to retain its 2014 casino license.

The five-member commission ruled that Wynn no longer be considered a "qualifier" for the purposes of its license upon confirmation that he did not exercise voting rights at the company's upcoming May 16 shareholders' meeting.

Qualifiers, who must pass a state background check, can include top executives and shareholders. The commission can factor in character, reputation and integrity to determine if a casino operator is suitable to hold a license.

"We are pleased with the Gaming Commission's decision and look forward to having nothing further to do with this matter," Brian Kelley, a lawyer for Wynn at the law firm Nixon Peabody, said in a statement.

Wynn Resorts did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

RELATED: Here's a list of the high-profile men accused of sexual misconduct and harassment:

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Politicians, lawmakers accused of sexual harassment, assault and misconduct
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Politicians, lawmakers accused of sexual harassment, assault and misconduct

Several women have come forward accusing President Donald Trump of unwanted touching or kissing. Trump has called the sexual harassment claims 'fake news.'

(REUTERS/Yuri Gripas)

U.S. Supreme Court nominee judge Brett Kavanaugh was accused by numerous women of sexual assault, including Dr. Christine Blasey Ford who claimed he assaulted her when the two were high school students in Maryland.

(REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

Bill Clinton faced numerous allegations of sexual assault and misconduct while he was president of the United States, with accusers including Juanita Broaddrick, who accused him of rape, Kathleen Willey who said he groped her and Paula Jones who said he exposed himself to her without consent.

(Photo by Dirck Halstead/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)

(Photo by Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

Roy Moore faced multiple allegations of sexual misconduct with underaged girls.

(Carlo Allegri / Reuters)

Several women have accused former President George H.W. Bush of groping them during photo ops.

(REUTERS/Donna Carson)

Sen. Al Franken resigned after he was accused of kissing and groping a woman without her consent during a United Service Organizations (USO) tour in 2006.

(Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

A woman testified that her extra-martial affair with Missouri Governor Eric Greitens was not always consensual. The accuser claimed Greitens took a nude photo of her to use as blackmail and coerced her into having oral sex.

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New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman was accused in May 2018 of physically abusing four women who he had been romantically involved with, according to The New Yorker.

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A former aide of Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., says she was fired after she refused his advances.

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Rep. Trent Franks, R-Arizona, resigned after he was accused of asking former female staffers to be surrogate mothers for his child. 

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Rep. Ruben Kihuen, D-Nev., was accused of making unwanted sexual advances to multiple women.

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Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, was accused of using taxpayer money for a sexual harassment settlement with his former communications director, according to Politico. He announced in December that he wouldn't be seeking reelection. 

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Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) has been accused of unwanted sexual advances by former staffers.

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California Assemblymember Matt Dababneh was accused of masturbating in front of a woman in 2016, according to the Los Angeles Times.

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In 1992 multiple women came forward against Senator Brock Adams accusing him of sexually harassing, molesting or assaulting them.

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The Congressional Office of Compliance reportedly shelled out $100,000 to settle sexual harassment claims against U.S. Rep. Eric Massa, D-New York.

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Congressman Mark Foley, R-Florida, resigned in 2006 amid reports that he sent sexually explicit messages to at least one underage male former page. 

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Rep. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., called a young former aide his 'soul mate,' but denied sexually harassing her.

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Rep. Dan Johnson, R-Kentucky, was facing sexual assault accusations and reportedly committed suicide.

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Former U.S. Congressman Anthony Weiner was sentenced in 2017 after pleading guilty to one count of sending obscene messages to a minor, ending an investigation into a "sexting" scandal that played a role in the 2016 US presidential election.

(REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)

Former U.S. Rep. David Wu, D-Oregon, resigned from his position in 2011 after accusations of an 'unwanted sexual encounter' from the 18-year-old daughter of a donor.

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Former Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain dropped out of the race in December 2011 amid accusations of sexual misconduct.

(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Former U.S. Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert was sentenced to 15 months in prison in 2016 for attempting to skirt banking regulations in order to conceal hush money payments intended to cover up sex abuse allegations stemming from the time he was a high school wrestling coach at a far west suburban Chicago high school decades ago.

(REUTERS/Frank Polich)

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Wynn, the Las Vegas-based company's long-time face, resigned as chief executive in February after the Wall Street Journal reported on allegations that the billionaire had engaged in a decades-long pattern of sexual misconduct.

The newspaper said former and current company staff members it interviewed accused Wynn of creating a hostile work environment for women and of regularly pressuring employees to perform sex acts.

Reuters has not independently verified the allegations. Wynn, 76, has called the accusations "preposterous."

In March, Wynn divested himself of his entire 11.8 percent stake in Wynn Resorts. As a result, lawyers for the company and Wynn argued the Massachusetts commission should no longer deem him a "qualifier" for the purposes of its casino license.

At an April 27 hearing before the commission, Wynn Chief Executive Matt Maddox detailed steps the company has taken to distance itself from its namesake and adjust its corporate culture.

He also announced that the company was removing the name "Wynn" from the casino it is building in Massachusetts by changing the name of the Wynn Boston Harbor project to "Encore Boston Harbor."

The resort under construction in Everett, Massachusetts, adjacent to Boston along the Mystic River, will have more than 600 hotel rooms. The company expects it to open in mid-2019. (Reporting by Nate Raymond in Boston; editing by Leslie Adler and Jonathan Oatis)

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