Despite tireless effort by Wynn Resorts, the Encore Boston Harbor Hotel and Casino seems destined to suffer a major scandal. Most astounding is that the conglomerate has yet to fully recover from a previous major controversy. It was not so long ago that Wynn Resorts was steeped in sexual misconduct drama that hit headline news. Steve Wynn, founder of the group, came under fire for alleged decades of sexual harassment. A multitude of female employees stepped forward to vocalise their stories, ultimately resulting in two crippling fines.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board fined Wynn Resorts a staggering $20 million, followed quickly by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission with a $35 million fine. But it was not the monetary penalties that were most damaging to the organisation; heavy criticism was near deafening, with many questioning how the sexual harassment had gone on for decades with no sign of intervention from management.
Indications were that Wynn Resorts was desperate to recover their shattered reputation. They moved forward with opening the $2.6 billion luxury resort Encore Boston Harbor. At first all seemed to be going well, with $16.8 million generated in the first week. But it wasn’t long before a new scandal shattered their reputation a second time. Accusations surfaced that the venue was knowingly cheating its patrons.
Richard Schuster has now filed a class-action lawsuit at the Middlesex Superior Court. The New Yorker claims that funds he won at the Blackjack table were withheld, and he would be seeing the matter through in court.
In a statement Schuster says he won at the Blackjack tables and was paid out at 6-5 odds. But according to him, he should have been paid out at better 3-2 odds, which is in line with established regulations. It is possible for any gambling establishment to provide 6-5 payouts, but only if certain rules and regulations are met. The lawsuit says that Encore Boston Harbor did not meet regulations, and so was knowingly breaking the law.
In practice, regulations stipulate that steps must be taken by any gambling venue to level the playing fields between player and the house. For example 1-2 decks of cards must be used, which increases the chances of the player winning. If 6-8 decks are used, the odds are boosted in favour of the house. The lawsuit claims that 8 decks were used at the Encore Boston Harbor Casino, meaning that requirements were not met to pay the less generous odds.
The allegations were, of course, denied by the venue. But the legal process is still in its early stages, with an outcome still to be determined.