Wynn Resorts’ Everett casino project is one step closer to finally breaking ground after winning a crucial environmental permit on Friday.
Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton issued a 27-page ruling, stating that Wynn’s plan to address traffic and environmental impacts “adequately and properly complies” with the state Environmental Policy Act, which calls for development projects to take all reasonable measures to avoid, minimize and mitigate environmental damage.
Beaton also requires Wynn to participate in paying for a new transportation planning effort to address long-term traffic problems in and around Sullivan Square, which will be led by the state Department of Transportation.
The permit allows Wynn’s $1.7b Everett casino, the state’s largest single private development, to go through other approval processes such as a request for a state permit allowing the casino to be built on waterfront property and a building permit from the Everett Planning Board.
Wynn boss Steve Wynn described the decision as “open and fair,” adding that the two-year-plus license application process has been “meticulous and hard fought and undoubtedly will continue to be so.”
“At moments like this, there is certainly a feeling of gratification and forward movement. It lifts our spirits and energizes us,” added Wynn.
Beaton reminded the city of Boston that it’s not too late to negotiate a better surrounding-community agreement with Wynn Resorts but the city Mayor Marty Walsh, who filed a lawsuit against the Massachusetts Gambling Commission (MGC) for alleged corruption in the selection process, said that his administration would continue to “fight for the best interests and public safety” of the Charlestown residents.
Suffolk Superior Court Judge Janet Sanders scheduled a September 22 hearing to consider the state’s arguments for throwing out the lawsuit.
Massachusetts has already granted a slots parlor license to Plainridge Park, which opened in June and two casino licenses to Wynn Everett and MGM Springfield to open in 2018. A third casino license is expected to go either the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe for the First Light Casino in Taunton or Mass Gaming & Entertainment for a development in Brockton.