Just when everybody thought that Wynn may now heave a sigh of relief after securing a legal victory over Sommerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone two months ago, an international developer has stepped in town to run after his profits in the state of Massachusetts.
Developer Eugene McCain has launched an aggressive effort to win a statewide vote in November on the slots parlor, and supporters have collected enough signatures for a local referendum, scheduled for Oct. 18, according to the Boston Globe.
It has been reported that the Revere slots parlor’s proposed site is just three miles from Everett casino – and Wynn executives are not happy about it.
Saying that it would go against the 2011 casino law that called for a single slots parlor in Massachusetts, Wynn Resorts has opposed the plan but cut short on answering whether they plan to finance an opposition to a statewide ballot question that would authorize the slots parlor, known as Question 1.
The casino-resort company accused McCain of trying to “circumvent the law” in order to open a new single slot parlor.
“It’s not fair to Wynn Resorts,” Robert DeSalvio, a top executive for the company, said. “We came into Massachusetts understanding there would be three casinos and one slots parlor under state law, not three casinos and two slots parlors.”
For the residents of Revere, they believe that the slots parlor plan could bring momentum to the statewide effort. Slot parlor opponent Revere Mayor Brian Arrigo had tried to block a local election, at least until voters have had their say in November.
Arrigo claimed that the city would be spared the expense, estimated at $50,000, of a local election f the ballot measure is defeated. Arrigo opposes the slots parlor because he wants to attract different development to the site.
The Mayor asked the court to postpone the elections but the judge denied it since the slots parlor supporters met all the legal requirements for an election by collecting the signatures of 4,800 voters.
Joe Gravellese, aide to the mayor, told the news agency that Arrigo has not yet waved the white flag on his legal battle.
“We’re trying to get in front of a judge as soon as possible to ask for a stay,” Gravellese said. “We think this would place too much of a burden on our election commission.”
House Speaker Robert DeLeo, one of the architects of the casino law, has also expressed his opposition to the slots parlor, which would be in his district.
“I stand in opposition to Question 1,” DeLeo said. “When we crafted the law, my main focus was on boosting the economy and creating jobs. Key to that effort was creating an independent Gaming Commission which conducts thorough market analyses and then makes informed decisions. This slapdash proposal would upset the deliberate and delicate balance we worked so hard to create.”
DeSalvio said the ballot question is premature.
“The casinos are not even up and running yet,” he said. “Let’s let them get built before doing anything.”