Boston Mayor drops Wynn casino challenge

Boston Mayor drops Wynn casino challenge

Thursday, January 28, 2016 Totally Gaming
Steve Wynn has come to an agreement with Martin Walsh

One of the US’s biggest ever casino projects outside of Nevada is a step closer after a deal was struck between Boston’s authorities and Wynn Resorts.

The $1.7bn (€1.56bn) Wynn Everett had been under threat due to opposition from Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, but all legal challenges have been dropped after the casino operator agreed to pay an extra $6m over the 15-year term of the agreement.

The Wynn Resort, one of two projects licensed in Massachusetts under the Expanded Gaming Act, is due to open in late 2018 and is expected to generate annual gross gaming revenue of $1.4bn.

In a statement published on Wednesday, Wynn Resorts said: “We are eager to turn the page in our relationship with the City of Boston and begin a new chapter that will culminate with a beautiful, five-star resort overlooking Boston Harbour. Our agreement will unlock economic development and jobs for the entire region.”

Walsh’s opposition was related to the infrastructure issues created by the three million square-foot resort being constructed in an urban area.

Wynn had already agreed to pay $26m as an upfront cost towards local infrastructure costs, with the company now also paying an annual fee of $2m – rather than $1.6m - to the City of Boston. The new agreement also requires Wynn to pay Boston $750,000 to cover legal and other fees in connection with the negotiations of the deal, which was signed on Wednesday.

After dropping his opposition following thawing of relations with billionaire Wynn chief executive Steve Wynn, Walsh said that benefits to the city and state will include thousands of jobs, greater tax revenue, investment in social projects and solving traffic problems.

The resort, which was given the go-ahead by state authorities in 2014, will feature a luxury hotel with more than 600 rooms, along with gambling halls, a spa and facilities for retail, conferences and dining. Earlier this month, Suffolk Construction was handed a $1bn contract to build the planned complex.

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