Wynn Resorts plans to establish an entertainment complex on its land just across the street from its Encore Boston Harbor Casino in Everett.
Apart from the plans for two hotels with ballrooms, a theater, clubs, restaurants, and three parking garages, the latest plans for the 1.8-million-square-foot development also involve gambling, in the form of a sportsbook facility and a poker room. However, in order to offer such services, the casino operator needs the Massachusetts Gaming Commission’s permission.
Last week, the planning board of the city of Everett gave the green light to a site plan, while, later today, the city council could vote on a required zoning change seeking to allow gambling. The first phase of the project includes the establishment of a 2,100-space parking garage, a poker room, a sports bar, a 200-seat comedy club, a 980-seat theater, a roof-deck day club, as well as a nightclub for approximately 1,000 people.
According to the plans filed by Wynn Resorts with the state environmental regulatory bodies on November 15th, the second phase of the project is set to include the construction of the two hotels – one featuring almost 500 guest rooms, and the other featuring more than 300. As mentioned above, each of the two hotels will feature its own ballroom, as well as a retail area, some restaurants, and garages featuring at least 450 parking spaces. The final phase will include the construction of a two-story building with shops and restaurants.
Sportsbook and Poker Room Services to Be Included in the Everett Casino Expansion
The state’s gambling regulator granted the first sports betting license to Wynn Resorts a few days ago but the company plans to offer sports wagers in the casino and, if the Massachusetts Gaming Commission agrees, in the new establishment, too.
Most operations that are set to take place in the new building, apart from the sports betting and poker services, will be run by Big Night Entertainment, which has planned to move its Memoire nightclub from the already existing casino to the new building’s club space and take advantage of the newer and bigger venue, outdoor decks, and newer technology.
In November, the general counsel of Wynn Resorts – Jacqui Krum – informed the Massachusetts gambling regulatory body that the company plans to employ about 800 people at the venues in the new establishment. About 500 of those, mostly hourly employees, are set to work for Big night Entertainment.
According to some expectations shared by Everett’s planning director, Matt Lattanzi, the first phase of the new construction would generate new property taxes or payments alternative to taxes of about $3.6 million every year. Mr. Lattanzi also shared that another annual $10.8 million worth of revenue would probably be brought during the second phase, on top of lodging taxes of approximately $3 million.
At first, Wynn Resorts said no gambling services would be offered in the new establishment. These claims, however, were made during the early planning for the block but the gambling company is now arguing to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission that the new building needs to be regulated as part of its Everett casino, after all. In November, the commissioners started to discuss whether such a move would be in line with the voters’ intentions at the time they gave their overwhelming support for a casino to be established.
No resolution was reached at the time, so the regulator is likely to have more extensive discussions in 2023. In order to host any gambling at the new establishment, be it poker or sportsbook services, Wynn Resorts needs a positive vote from the regulator.