A Little Late, But Welcome to Massachusetts, Steve!

WynnEverettIt appears that the lengthy, sometimes contentious, legal battle between Wynn Resorts Chairman Steve Wynn and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is over. A “surrounding community” agreement was reached by both parties for the development of an Everett casino. The agreement includes:

  • $31 million over 15 years for community impact
  • $25 million over 10 years for Sullivan Square infrastructure improvements
  • $11 million for traffic mitigation in Charlestown
  • $250,000 for a regional working group on a “long-term fix” for Sullivan Square
  • a “good faith effort” to purchase $20 million annually over 15 years from Boston businesses
  • $1 million for reimbursement of Boston’s professional (legal) expenses.

Wynn Resorts Everett will be a $1.7 billion, five-star, premier destination resort with a 600 all-suite room hotel in Everett, located off Lower Broadway, at the site of the heavily contaminated, former Monsanto Chemical plant. Millions of dollars will be invested to clean and remediate the site and to construct infrastructure and traffic betterments.

The Commonwealth will receive a licensing fee of $85 million, along with 25% of gross gaming revenues, which are estimated to be $260 million annually.

There will be 4,000 full time jobs, as well as over 3,600 construction jobs.

For Everett:

  • $30 million in advanced payments for a Community Enhancement Fund payable during the construction period
  • $5 million Community Impact Fee, increasing annually
  • $20 million for real estate taxes, increasing annually (almost 25% of the city’s tax base)
  • $250,000 contribution to Everett Citizens Foundation
  • $50,000 annual payment to purchase vouchers/gift certificates from Everett businesses to be distributed by Wynn as part of its loyalty programs
  • An estimated $2.5 million per year in hotel and restaurant taxes
  • An active waterfront park with a winter garden and harbor walk will be created

That’s quite a financial commitment by an out-of-state company to the Commonwealth. In case you haven’t heard it before, welcome to Massachusetts!

Casinos Coming to Massachusetts – An Inside Look at What the Future May Bring

NAIOP just had its gaming program: Casinos Coming to Massachusetts: Spinning the Wheel – What this New Industry Means for the Commonwealth. The event attracted a large crowd and generated significant media coverage. It was the first program of its kind since the casino legislation was signed into law and it was the first public speaking opportunity for Steve Crosby, the Chairman-Designate of the newly established Massachusetts Gaming Commission.

During his presentation, Steve indicated that there were eight guiding principles that came out of the legislation:

  1. The public must have confidence in the selection and oversight process.
  2. There will not be a local referendum until there is a signed agreement with the casino operator/developer and the municipal leadership.
  3. Financial stability of the development must be proven.
  4. Lottery revenues need to be maintained.
  5. Job growth and economic development should be maximized.
  6. Small businesses and local tourism in the surrounding areas need to be protected.
  7. Revenues must be generated for the Commonwealth.
  8. Any potential negative consequences should be mitigated.

Steve sees this as a great opportunity to leverage what might be a $2-4 billion private investment into the Commonwealth for the public good. He also hopes that the individual project designs will enhance the culture, social values, and history of the local areas.

Finally, he pointed out that the Commission was just created. Four other members still need to be selected and an executive director needs to be hired before they can even begin establishing regulations and rules, or issue requests for proposals. He guessed that it would take 12-18 months to accomplish all of that with another 6-9 months, at the earliest, before an initial decision on a specific project could be made. The exception to that might be the one slot parlor, which could be on a faster track.

So, casinos are coming, but just not this year!

View event photos.