Wynn Resorts decides to pay .5M fine rather than appeal
After a lot of back and forth, and considering many options, Wynn Resorts Ltd. have finally settled on a plan of action. The operator has decided to pay $35.5 million in fines to ensure their Encore Boston Harbor casino resort opens on schedule, reports the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
The decision comes as an alternative to appealing the fines imposed by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC), which had placed the fines on the company for the sexual harassment scandal of former CEO Steve Wynn. Wynn Resorts had until May 31 to decide if they would rather go the appeal route, but doing so would have likely delayed the June 23 opening of the new casino.
The MGC seemed pretty pleased with Wynn Resorts’ decision to pay up. In a statement, they said, “The five-member commission will now ensure compliance with the imposed requirements as they look forward to a successful June 23 opening of Encore Boston Harbor.”
The operator isn’t paying happily though. In their own statement, they noted that they disagree with the $500,000 fine imposed on new CEO Matt Maddox, although they ultimately paid the fine for him. They wrote:
“The board of directors disagrees with a number of the commission’s comments and conclusions regarding Matt, and believes they are not supported by the evidence. Therefore, we would support his decision to exercise his rights and appeal the fine imposed upon him, and believe he would rightly prevail in his appeal. However, that appeal would delay the final conclusion of this matter, and therefore we appreciate Matt’s decision to forego an appeal in order to allow closure for the company.”
Although $35.5 million is a lot for average Joes like you and me, it’s chump change for a major casino. Macquaire analyst Chad Beynon noted that their profits from opening Encore Boston Harbor will easily pay for it. “Clearly, the property’s first-year free cash flow can take care of this fine,” he said.
The decision to pay the fine comes after considering other plans. Besides possibly appealing the fine, they also allegedly considered selling the location to MGM before scrapping that idea.
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