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Wynn Resorts is denying multiple allegations of sexual harassment and assault by its founder, Steve Wynn, describing it as a smear campaign related to divorce proceedings from his ex-wife.
The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that a number of women say they were harassed or assaulted by the casino mogul. One case led to a $7.5 million settlement with a manicurist. The detailed report describes accounts from several female employees.
The company — which is building a $2.4 billion, 27-story casino in Everett — says it is committed to operating with the "highest ethical standards and maintaining a safe and respectful culture."
Wynn denied the allegations personally in a statement, saying the "idea that I ever assaulted any woman is preposterous."
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission called the allegations against Steve Wynn "troubling" and said its investigations and enforcement bureau will conduct a "regulatory review" of the matter "to determine the appropriate next steps."
"The Commission is now aware of and is taking very seriously the troubling allegations detailed in the Wall Street Journal article," commission spokeswoman Elaine Driscoll said in a statement. "The suitability and integrity of our gaming licensees is of the utmost importance, and ensuring that suitability is an active and ongoing process."
The office of Everett's mayor did not comment when reached by WBUR.
A spokesman for Gov. Charlie Baker's office released a statement saying:
"The governor is deeply disturbed by these allegations and expects them to be taken seriously. This administration has a zero tolerance policy for sexual harassment and expects the Commonwealth’s employers to create a safe work environment for all employees where reporting harassment of any kind is encouraged and properly addressed."
Shares of Wynn Resorts Ltd. plunged after the Journal report.
The company's Boston-area resort casino is expected to open in June 2019.
With reporting by The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom.
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