Investigators hired by the State Police and the Gaming Commission’s Enforcement and Investigations Unit led by Attorney Karen Wells have been searching out new information while studying documents, as the vetting process continues for three casino hopefuls in the Boston district.
Stephen Wynn, Richard Fields, and David Nunes, who hope to place casinos of their own in Everett, East Boston/Revere and in Milford respectively, are right now under the microscope, so to speak. The investigation began January 15 and is ongoing.
Nearly every aspect of their public, business and personal lives are being weighed and measured by the State Police and by private investigators.
Nothing about the investigations is public, according to Elaine Driscoll, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission’s media and communications spokesperson. She said the Commission makes public the overall state of the investigations at its monthly public hearings but would not detail any wrongdoing found to this point in time.
“The investigations are active and ongoing. Any discussion concerning the results of the investigation would compromise the process,” she said. In other words, the public will not know what has been discovered until it changes the playing field, if at all.
We know this. About $1.4 million is being spent.
The investigations are not perfunctory. They concern not only a close study by experts of the individual’s financials but of their partners and their chief operatives.
Inevitably, the close-up look into these casino titans will concern their private lives, their bad habits (assuming they have any), their irresponsible behavior – drug and or alcohol abuse, their mental state, private relationships outside of normal family structures, and business dealings with others who may be of questionable character.
In addition, investigators also must deal realistically with all the parties conducting negotiations now ongoing for mitigation agreements between possible host communities and casino hopefuls.
We know the FBI has been all over public officials in the city of Everett and gathering information in that city. Until recently, a grand jury was active and it is believed that investigation led to the indictment and resignation of Everett’s State Representative State Smith recently.
In Revere, the FBI has been actively investigating city hall matters (not those of the present administration) for almost 3 years. The FBI will not disclose what exactly it is investigating but its presence on and off continues.
Milford is not under the FBI’s scrutiny right now.
Investigators would like nothing better than to find information that would disqualify Wynn, Fields or Nunes individually or all of them. Even better, such negative findings about any of them would likely kick-start a state and federal investigation into their dealings or mis-dealings, whatever they may be.
Presently, Gaming Commission investigators are keying in on slot parlor applicants.
Driscoll said slots have been prioritized right now because the creation of a slot parlor is a less complex task than a casino.
There are presently 11 applicants for casino licenses being vetted and two for the slot parlor.
Casino applicants must meet stringent qualifications and investigators so far have about 21,000 documents to examine.