Steve Wynn and the city of Everett were the winners in the contest for the license for the Boston Metro casino zone, with Suffolk Downs and the Mohegan Tribe as definite losers—and with the city of Boston as a potential loser, at least in the mind of its mayor, Martin Walsh.
The casino resort could open as soon as late 2017, according to a spokesman for the company.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission awarded the license to Wynn—technically Wynn MA LLC— for its proposed $1.6 billion casino resort proposal with a 3-1 vote. Whether any more casinos are built in the state ultimately depends on the fate of the November 4 ballot measure, Question 3, which would ban casinos.
Three commissioners, Gayle Cameron, Bruce Stebbins and Enrique Zuniga, cited Wynn’s financial strength and estimated that it would have the most positive economic benefits for the region.
Commission Chairman James McHugh, who voted for the Mohegan project, told reporters, “This has been a really, really difficult decision. The two were very close together. The Wynn applicant had the edge in the economic benefits that it would provide to the community and the region.”
Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria greeted the news ecstatically: “They did choose the right city and the right applicant. Frankly, it’s the right time for Everett.” He added, “People got what they wanted. Imagine being a taxpayer in Massachusetts and getting what you wanted. Government worked today and I thank the commission.”
Wynn Massachusetts Senior Vice President Robert DeSalvio said, “This is a great opportunity to clean up that site that has been sitting for so long, and we hope that our project will just be the start of economic development as part of the Lower Broadway Plan.”
Mohegan Sun Tribal Gaming Authority CEO Mitchell Etess criticized the decision, saying, “We are extremely disappointed in today’s decision. Mohegan Sun has worked incredibly hard to develop a comprehensive proposal that will deliver the most economic development and revenue for the commonwealth.”