KNPR – Wynn Resorts Wins Massachusetts Gaming License

Steve Wynn, chairman of Wynn Resorts Ltd, in Las Vegas will oversee his company’s plans for a new casino in Everett, Mass.
Credit Wynn Resorts

Updated: Sept. 16, 2:30 p.m.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has approved Wynn Resorts proposal to build a $1.6 billion resort-casino in Everett, a city just north of Boston.

The commission voted 3-to-1 Tuesday to award the license to the Las Vegas-gaming company. Wynn Resorts already operates Wynn Las Vegas and Encore on the Strip, Wynn Macau, and is building a $4 billion resort on the Cotai Strip in Macau.

“We’d like to thank the commission for the thoughtful and exhaustive energy that they have put forward into the process and we look forward to successfully navigating the program as it goes forward,” Steve Wynn, chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts, said in a statement.

Wynn said he believed that a great deal of the resistance that his company experienced in some surrounding communities was “directly related to the fact that this was a competition.”

In his statement, Wynn specifically mentioned Boston as a community resistant to the company’s plans to redevelop 30-acres along the Mystic River.

“We expect that now that a decision has been made, everybody will find it much easier to relate to one another, get on with the job of creating jobs and a better life for the citizens of Everett and surrounding communities in the greater Boston area.”

Elaine Driscoll, director of communications for the MGC, said Wynn Resorts “must now accept a list of conditions by tomorrow (morning) and (the) commission will then take a final vote.”

Wynn Resorts beat out Connecticut-based Mohegan Sun for the license. Mohegan Sun had proposed to build a $1.1 billion casino in Revere, at the Suffolk Downs racetrack. The city of Revere is also located just north of Boston.

Commissioners Gayle Cameron, Enrique Zuniga, and Bruce Stebbins voted for the proposal. Commissioner James F. McHugh, who chaired the hearing, was the lone dissenter, the Boston Globe reported. Commission chairman Stephen Crosby had recused himself due to the possibility of conflicts of interest — he was seen attending an event at Suffolk Downs racetrack, which has a partnership with Mohegan Sun .

The commission moved forward with approving the project, despite a ballot measure in November that would repeal the state’s gaming law. In 2011, Massachusetts voters approved a law that authorized three casinos and a slot machine parlor in the state.

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