CASINO

Massachusetts greenlights Wynn’s environmental plans, but operator may pay extra for traffic fix

TAGs: Jasmine Solana, Joseph A. Curtatone, Massachusetts, Massachusetts Gaming Commission, Steve Wynn

Steve Wynn might have to shell out more money for his Everett casino project.

Massachusetts greenlights Wynn’s environmental plans, but operator may pay extra for traffic fixThe Massachusetts Gaming Commission approved Wynn Resorts’ environmental and traffic plans for its proposed $2 billion casino development in Everett, the Boston Herald reported. But with one caveat—the operator will have to pay extra to relieve the traffic concerns in Charlestown’s Sullivan Square.

Wynn is already on the hook for $36 million to improve traffic in Sullivan Square, but Attorney General Maura Healey pushed state officials back in February “to do more to hold casino magnate Steve Wynn accountable” for the Wynn Boston Harbor casino, which she believes lack any “long-term” plan to alleviate traffic concerns.

Last Monday, state gaming regulators approved the Section 61 findings, an environmental study conducted by several state agencies on the Wynn project.

The approval marked a major—but expected—step for the casino operator, but that doesn’t mean Wynn will already break ground on the project. The casino company still has one more fight brewing, this time against Somerville Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone, who appealed to the state Department of Environmental Protection’s decision to give Wynn an environmental clearance early this year.

The appeal has prompted Wynn officials to temporarily shelf the construction and all project-related hiring while they wait for the legal battle to unravel. The appeal, which Wynn dubbed as an “irritation,” is scheduled for a June hearing, but the company hopes to break ground by July.

Third casino could rise in Massachusetts’ crowded southeast

Steve Wynn’s Boston Harbor casino might have another neighbor soon—if the gaming regulators have their way.

Boston reported that the state gaming commission is mulling on awarding the third and final gambling license to Chicago-based Rush Street Gaming, which plans to develop a $677 million resort on the Brockton Fairgrounds.

Rush Street Gaming owner Neil Bluhm’s proposal for the casino complex involves 2,100 slot machines, 124 table games, a 250-room hotel and other non-gaming facilities, including a range of restaurants, bar and entertainment options.

If approved, Bluhm’s project will make up the state’s three licensed, non-tribal casino projects alongside MGM’s $950 million Springfield casino and Wynn’s $2 billion casino in Everett. But there’s also the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, which recently broke ground on its $1 billion First Light Casino project in Taunton.

In addition, the region is also home to the Plainridge Park slots parlor and harness racing track, as well as a full scale casino in nearby Rhode Island, which, by the way, is also asking for its voters’ approval on a second facility along the Massachusetts-Rhode Island border.

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