Wynn’s Massachusetts Casino Plan Meets with Voter Approval
This weekend voters in the city of Everett, Massachusetts were asked to vote on whether or not they want a Wynn Casino and Resort to be constructed in their town, and the answer was astoundingly in the affirmative.
The outcome of the public referendum held on Saturday came as little surprise, as the project had widespread – not to mention deep-pocketed – endorsement. Ahead of the vote, most industry observers anticipated that Wynn’s plan would meet with overwhelming support, which is precisely what happened. Of the 6,157 residents who showed up on Saturday to have their voices heard, about 87 percent voted in favor of allowing the casino construction.
Voters eager to reap the benefits of new casino development
Aside from the $25 million the city of Everett, an industrial town more known for its blight than its bling, stands to rake in annually as being home to Wynn’s latest project, many residents said they supported the casino bid because the company has planned to revitalize a 37-acre parcel of land along the Mystic River.
The site previously was the home of a Monsanto Chemical facility, and as such will require an environmental clean-up before the land can be rendered usable. Residents expressed concern that in the absence of the casino’s development, the land would continue to stand empty and polluted.
Longtime local resident Dana Ringdahl is among those who are eager to see the property overhauled.
“It’s a wasteland down there; there hasn’t been any development,” Ringdahl told reporters. “Maybe we can get beyond the image of being an industrial city and become a more happening place.”
Plan must meet gaming commission approval
The public referendum was not, however, the final hurdle to be leapt before ground can be broken on the $1.2 billion resort. Now the issue moves on to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.
Everett officials were quick to celebrate the success of the bid at the polls, with a representative from the mayor’s office, David Rodrigues, remarking, “This is something that will change Everett. Back in November when we started discussions with Wynn Resorts, we thought this project would fit here and benefit us.”
Three companies competing for one license
There are three gaming licenses up for grabs in the state of Massachusetts, however only one permit will be issued for the Boston metropolitan area. There are two other companies vying against Wynn to be granted the much-coveted license. Those two parties are Foxwoods Resort, a Connecticut company hoping to build a casino in Milford, and a partnership that has been established between Caesars and East Boston’s Suffolk Downs racetrack.
While the Suffolk Downs plan, in particular, has been touted as having powerful political support, including the weight of longtime Boston Mayor Thomas Menino behind it, the company has yet to come to any sort of agreement with the city in terms of revenue share and other issues, such as traffic congestion concerns.
For its part, the Wynn Company was happy to celebrate its weekend victory at the polls and offered no comment on its competitors’ proposals.
“The voters of Everett have spoken clearly and decisively. The vote heightens our enthusiasm and dedication to this fine project. We thank the voters for their support and making all our efforts so easy,” Steve Wynn said after the results of the vote came in.
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