Encore Boston Harbor could be the exception, not the rule. The Wynn Resorts property being built in Everett, Massachusetts is keeping close to its construction schedule and should be ready to open this summer, according to Wynn CEO Matt Maddox. If it stays on course, it would be one of just a few casino projects to not face multiple delays while under construction.
The $2.6-billion integrated resort (IR) is expected to open on June 23. It will be the second IR in the state, following the $950-million MGM Springfield that was unveiled last August. Both companies were chosen by Massachusetts regulators in 2010 as the preferred developers for new IRs in the state.
Despite the assertion that the construction is on track and the IR is almost ready to open its doors, gambling authorities may have other plans in mind. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) has not yet ruled on whether or not the company will be allowed to operate in the state. Wynn and the MGC are currently involved in a dispute over concerns that the company didn’t do enough to prevent its founder and former CEO, Steve Wynn, from his alleged involvement in sexual misconduct.
The MGC opened an investigation into the allegations shortly after gaming officials in Nevada began their own investigation. Although the MGC has completed its review, it isn’t ready to release its position. Both Nevada and Massachusetts have been closely linked to the Wynn saga, with the MGC waiting to hear how the courts rule in Nevada before issuing its own decision. Wynn is also facing a third investigation in Macau.
Maddox continues to lead the charge, keeping Wynn Resorts in a favorable light. He expects the company to be given the authority to continue with Encore, but the results of the Nevada investigation could dampen his enthusiasm. The company agreed to pay a fine levied by the Nevada Gaming Control Board, as well as to fire employees who knew of Steve Wynn’s sexual proclivities, but who didn’t respond appropriately. That, in essence, shows that the company admits wrongdoing, yet wasn’t willing to abide by the law.
The MGC is expected to announce its decision by the middle of next month, at which time the world will know where Wynn Resorts stands and what its future holds.