Encore Boston Harbor casino project: a tough job to finish By John L. Smith, CDC Gaming Reports January 16, 2019 at 8:00 pm It’s safe to say Peter Campo knows a challenge when he sees one. Campo, the director of construction for Wynn Resorts’ $2.6 billion Encore Boston Harbor, is responsible for bringing in a five-star, 600-room casino resort with a high-end spa, elaborate retail shopping center, restaurants, bars and lounges, a showroom, convention meeting space and, of course, a sweeping casino floor. While we’re on the subject, let’s not forget the impressive environmental cleanup of the toxic real estate on the Mystic River that’s now the site of a nearly-finished gaming resort that promises to employ 4,000 workers. According to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) website, Encore is the “largest private single-phase construction project in the history of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.” So when someone cracks that it gets no bigger than this, it’s no joke. And while many hands are working, when it comes to construction the buck stops with Campo. That was clear in the live Internet feed I watched of last week’s commission meeting. Understanding this adds weight to Campo’s statement last week to the state gaming commission when he reflected, “I’m finding out that I have the easy part of this process.” Easy, indeed. At a time Campo’s punch list of final preparations ought to be the central focus of the project, the gaming commission continues to deal with the fallout from a sexual harassment scandal involving former Wynn Resorts Chairman Steve Wynn. Although Wynn has sold his stock and is no longer with the company, the lawsuit the legendary casino mogul filed in November in a Nevada court against Massachusetts casino regulators and Wynn Resorts officials is very much on their minds. Gaming officials spent much of the meeting carefully questioning their lead counsel in the litigation, Anderson Krieger attorney David Mackey, about the process he’s been experiencing in another jurisdiction. Mackey remained unspecific about the contents of the documents being litigated. But he did offer that a question of whether disclosure of its contents would violate the health information privacy of Wynn, which has been raised by opposing lawyers. Most of what Mackey had to tell commissioners was saved for a private executive session, during which time he was expected to discuss litigation strategy with officials who have begun mounting a defense. The document in question involves a $7.5 million settlement between Wynn and a former resort manicurist, according to published reports. In early January Clark County District Court Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez ruled from the bench that the settlement would be kept confidential. She is expected to release her written decision soon. Mackey told casino commissioners he believed the litigation should be transferred to a Massachusetts court. Wynn’s attorneys are also suing Karen Wells, the MGC’s director of the Investigations and Enforcement Bureau. The Anderson Krieger firm also represents Wells, who is being sued personally as well as in her professional capacity. The lawsuit occurred at a time the commission was entering the final stages of its lengthy and probing investigation into Wynn Resorts’ suitability to hold a coveted gaming license from the state. Although Wynn’s name has been scrubbed from the building and the company, attorneys publicly stated that while he was active with the company, he concealed the settlement from the commission. The multimillion-dollar settlement was first disclosed in an article in The Wall Street Journal, which also broke the original story that sent Wynn’s career and company stock plummeting. Although Wynn has consistently denied the allegations, he resigned from the company just days after publication. In an understated tone, Mackey said, “We want to make our perspective on one issue clear today: We do not believe Mr. Wynn’s allegations … are supported by the facts here,” Mackey said, and reiterated that be believed it was inappropriate for a Nevada court to have standing in a case involving the MGC. Despite a litigation that threatens to mar the start of business at Encore Boston Harbor, Wynn Resorts officials told commissioners the casino-hotel in Everett remains on schedule to open in June. Contact John L. Smith at email@example.com. On Twitter: @jlnevadasmith.