Wynn Moving Ahead with Massachusetts Casino Plans as Suffolk Downs Project Remains Stalled
Despite the very public support of Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, Suffolk Downs is reportedly running into various roadblocks as it attempts to move ahead with its plans to add a casino to its East Boston racetrack.
Apparently the undertaking has reached an impasse as a result of a failure between the company and the city of Boston to reach an agreement regarding gambling revenue sharing as well as other concerns relating to city infrastructure, traffic, and the like.
Little progress despite months of negotiations between the two parties
Negotiations between the city and Suffolk Downs have been going on for months, and while the media is reporting that the two parties aren’t much closer to reaching accord than they were earlier in the year, both the Mayor and the company remain confident that they can eventually reach an agreement and get the casino built.
“We will continue to meet with city officials to finish agreements that will serve the needs of the people of Boston,” said Chip Tuttle, Suffolk Downs’ CEO. “We’ve made substantial progress and look forward to continuing our work with the mayor and his team.”
A spokesperson for Mayor Menino, Dot Joyce, was vague in a statement, remarking, “The mayor’s first priority is protecting the best interests of the residents of Boston. Boston will continue to fight for what we feel is the best deal for the city.”
Wynn presents huge model as vote nears
Meanwhile, officials from the Wynn Company are moving forward with their plans to build a mammoth, $1.2 billion casino project in Everett, Massachusetts, just outside Boston’s city limits. This week representatives from the company presented a 3-dimensional model of the sprawling property, which Boston.com reported as being so large as to barely fit through a door, and too large to be transported on a company jet plane.
On June 22nd, a public referendum will be held in which Everett residents will be given an opportunity to vote either in favor or against the Wynn project. As we reported a few weeks ago, there appears to be very little opposition to the proposed casino, and those who are against the plan to site a Wynn property in the city are not only unorganized, but also underfunded compared to a well-bankrolled citizens group working to get a “yes” vote on the plan.
If the Wynn company is successful in the upcoming vote, it has promised to build one of its signature bronze glass curtain towers in Everett, on property adjacent to the Mystic River. The design of the new tower would be similar to Wynn properties in Nevada and in the Asian gaming mecca of Macau, to which Wynn is credited for having introduced western-style casino gambling.
Besides bringing jobs to the region, Wynn has assured residents that the hotel will be the finest in all of Boston and will attract new tourism and conventions.
Everett and Wynn already struck a deal
Being that the proposed site of the Wynn property in Everett borders the city of Boston, under the terms of the gambling law, Wynn will have to work out traffic, quality of life, and revenue issues with Boston as well, something they have yet to do. Everett officials, however, have already struck a deal with the company, with Wynn agreeing to pay $25 million per year to the municipality as well as to make various concessions.
Wynn’s president and CEO said that the company plans to make similar arrangements with Boston, though it has yet to enter into talks with the city.
“We will obviously be talking to Boston. We would love to work cooperatively with them. I think that will happen eventually. But right now, we’re focused on the city of Everett,” Gamal Aziz said last week.
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