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Congressman: 'Half-Built' Wynn Casino Outside Boston Could Sit Empty For Years If License Yanked

Fate Of Massive Project Sits In Hands Of State Gaming Commission


Masslive.comCould Steve Wynn’s Boston-area casino soon become the biggest eyesore in state history?

Following explosive sexual assault allegations against the 76-year-old Las Vegas casino mogul detailed in a Wall Street Journal report, casino regulators in Massachusetts are reviewing his coveted 15-year license that allowed for his company to begin construction of a $2.4 billion casino in the town of Everett.

According to state officials, the casino is the largest private single-phase construction project in the history of Massachusetts. Should Wynn lose his license, the casino could sit empty for years. There’s been speculation that Wynn Resorts could be gobbled up by competitors.

According to a report from the Boston Herald, a U.S. Congressman from the Bay State said it would be “fine” if the project is put to a halt, but that Massachusetts needs to determine the impact to workers and the surrounding communities and also have a backup plan for such a scenario. The casino was touted as generating 4,000 construction and 4,000 permanent jobs.

“If they [the Massachusetts Gaming Commission] pull the license, it’ll be a big question and they’ll have to make a determination, what to do with a building that’s half-built and what to do with all the people that are working there," said U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano, a Democrat. "I know that’ll be a factor in the decision-making too, the state is not blind to that aspect of it.”

Capuano said he doesn’t want Everett to have “an empty building for the next 10 years while [regulators] figure out what to do.” His Congressional district includes the town.

Construction on Wynn Boston Harbor remains on schedule pending the regulatory review, with the casino still planning to open in mid-2019. The casino is eyeing a 90-table poker room.

The site of the casino once belonged to Monsanto, so Wynn Resorts was tasked with spending around $40 million to clean up the heavily polluted land. Additionally, the state eyed about $260 million in annual tax revenue when it granted approval for the project in 2014.

“The Commission is now aware of and is taking very seriously the troubling allegations detailed in the Wall Street Journal article,” regulators said in a statement last week. “The suitability and integrity of our gaming licensees is of the utmost importance, and ensuring that suitability is an active and ongoing process.” Just a few days later, when announcing a hearing on Wynn’s regulatory review, the Commission said that it’s “profoundly aware of the gravity of this matter and will proceed with the appropriate sense of urgency and rigor.”

Regulators determined in the days following the Journal report that Wynn hid from them a $7.5 million settlement stemming from alleged sexual misconduct in 2005 with a former employee.

Tags: Wynn,   Boston,   Steve Wynn,   Massachusetts