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Could Wynn Boston Harbor Stabilize Its Position in Massachusetts’ Gaming Field?

Wynn Resorts definitely has a lot on offer when it comes to an ongoing thread of news and riveting development of events. Ever since the first months of this year, there has been a constant flow of information which more often than not ends up doing some harm to the well-known casino developer operating on a global scale. Due to this negative publicity, it is not a secret to anyone that the casino operator has suffered a considerable drop in the prices of its shares and the negative impression of individuals in the gambling industry.

The casino developer has been working on its new project for quite some time now and at this point, everyone is certain that the Wynn Boston Harbor is going to happen. The future casino resort which is going to join the existing locations constructed by the casino operator is located on the banks of the Mystic River in Everett, Massachusetts. Its location is particularly interesting and it has been casing many discussions ever since its initial announcement due to the nature of the land that the resort is being built on.

The new project in the Everett County is estimated to cost about $2.4 billion and this amount of money is dedicated to guarantee the entertainment of many customers and guests of the integrated resort. Its location is also strategic, since it is a waterfront resort, meaning that it is accessible both by land and by water, However, so far during the process of construction there have been numerous complications involving the environment factor of the site among others.

It could be recalled that back in November 2017 it became clear that more time would be needed, as an essential part of the construction process is the undergoing remediation of the site which has been occupied by a chemical plant for more than a hundred years. Some 600,000 tons of chemically contaminated soil were then carted off the location, while in the meantime fertile soil was replacing it. According to the plan for remediation, the next step following the removal of the contaminated soil would be to take care of the water which is in the immediate vicinity of the resort.

The process of construction also calls for more than 8,000 tons of steel which are being utilized for the building which is going to host thousands of people and a wide variety of entertainment offerings. According to the plans which have been publicly issued, the casino venue which will welcome all gambling enthusiasts is going to feature two levels of gaming machines and table games. The overall area of the gaming floor reaches 160,000 square feet. Right underneath the gaming floors, there will be a parking garage, which is expected to provide a parking spot for every guest of the hotel.

Following the negative impact of the bad publicity revolving around Steve Wynn and the alleged sexual misconduct occurrences, it became known that the attorneys of Steve Wynn have recently filed a request to remove the casino tycoon as a qualifier for the Wynn Boston Harbor future location. Massachusetts Gaming Commission was the regulator which received the request and which has to oversee the procedure of removing Mr. Wynn from the list of qualifiers with which he was associated up to this point. This is being done in order to put a clear line between the new project and the former CEO of the company.

Wynn MA LLC is the division of the casino operator which owns the casino license for operation of the future Wynn Boston Harbor. The new casino resort which is located on the banks of the Mystic River in Everett is also considering a name change following the negative impact of the scandal. According to some well-acquainted individuals in the industry, the casino operator could utilize the Encore brand and call it Encore Boston, for example.

Circumstances around the Purchase Deal

The problematic situation related to the allegations is not the only thing that could slow down the launch of the future casino resort, as the last week unearthed more concerning news regarding the land on which it is being built. There have been discussions regarding the previous owners of the land, on which the resort is being built, but as it turns out the state’s authorities might be able to shed more light to the entire situation. According to the information revealed, the previous owners of the land on which the casino venue is being built might have been related to criminal activities in the past as well as to the Mob.

The location was purchased five years ago and the gaming regulator of the state did not see an issue with any of the parties involved in the deal. Ever since 2011 when the property was first considered Wynn Resorts has been working on ways in which it could acquire the said land. It introduced the new project as a direct rival of Caesars Entertainment Corp. and Mohegan Sun Massachusetts LLC, which have been in operation in the region prior to that.

Along with the announcement of its intentions the company also confirmed that it is planning on purchasing the 33-acre brownfield site where there was once a Monsanto Co. factory. At that time the land was owned by a partnership controlled by FBT Everett Realty LLC, which had paid $8 million for it in 2009. The plans were for it to be turned into a waste-transfer station. This is where it gets interesting as in late 2012 the Boston Business Journal identified one of the previous FBT owners as a convicted felon. However, at that point, the said partner had already left the group. Shortly after that Wynn signed a deal with the company to buy the site for $75 million.

In the meantime, Charles Lightbody, who had a minority stake in the Everett site as well as convictions going back decades for assault, grand larceny and identify theft, was linked to the situation. According to the federal law enforcement, he was also an associate of La Cosa Nostra. Following looking into the arrangement, the gaming commission reached the conclusion that Wynn Resorts was not aware of any attempts to hide ownership of the site.

MGM Resorts Considers Potential Purchase of the Site

This is what complicates the situation of the future gambling resort and the state authorities are investigating the case but there are many supporters of the project. Since it is going to give a steady job to thousands of people and employ them on a full-time. As a potential solution to the negative whirlpool of publicity against Wynn could be the rebranding of the new location and MGM Resorts could also participate in this process. For the last several weeks the news about the supposed Everett property sale.

At first, there were rumors stating that MGM Resorts could purchase Wynn Resorts and this could have added two more major Vegas resorts with a total of 290,000 square feet of event space to the offerings of MGM. Those are Wynn Las Vegas, which has a total of 2,710 rooms on offer, as well as the 2,034-room Encore at Wynn Las Vegas. There are also the gambling resorts located in Macau and Cotai which are performing quite well. However, it became clear that MGM Resorts might be interested in purchasing only the future casino resort in Everett.

Preliminary conversations between the two casino operators have commenced and one of the reasons they could succeed is that the purchase is going to eliminate any unwanted cannibalization of the field and harmful impact on the operation of both properties.

In Conclusion

The casino field in Massachusetts is the arena of constant changes and casino development worth following closely. Wynn Resorts’ new project located in Everett is one of the highly discussed topics which seems to attract the attention of both rival casino operators and the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. When it comes to its management, however, at this point things are not as certain as it seems. The following weeks are expected to see more development regarding the case and the eventual solution being provided for the complicated situation.

 Author: Harrison Young

Harrison Young is an experienced writer, who started his career almost 8 years ago. Prior to joining our team at CasinoGamesPro, he worked as an editor for a small magazine.