More than 86 percent of the 6,153 voters who went to the polls last Saturday gave their approval to the Wynn Resorts proposal to turn a section of contaminated, blighted Everett waterfront into the first resort casino in Massachusetts history.
In all, 5,320 said yes to the Special Election ballot question, with just 833 voting against the proposal.
The yes votes alone were more than 50 percent greater than the entire turnout of other recent special elections in the city, including both the primary and general elections for State Representative and the primary election for U.S. Senator held in March, April and May respectively.
The voter turnout is also significantly higher than the 3,500 voters that were being predicted for Everett in Tuesday’s Senate Special General Election between veteran Democratic Congressman Edward Markey and Republican newcomer Gabriel Gomez.
According to a press release put out by the Everett vote yes campaign, Everett United, “The unprecedented voter turnout for a special election is testimony to the enthusiasm and broad support the project received throughout the months long campaign.”
Casino developer Steve Wynn is pursuing one of three state gaming licenses to be awarded sometime early next year and has proposed a 550-room hotel and resort complex to be built at the 32-acre site of the former Monsanto chemical plant.
The Wynn companies unveiled a beautiful scale model of their design concepts for the destination resort casino last week just prior to the Special Election and Wynn’s Massachusetts Environmental Protection Act (MEPA) filing with the state.
In early May, Everett became the first city in the state to sign a casino host agreement with a casino developer, despite the fact that as of November 2012 no casino had as yet been proposed for Everett.
Wynn who had earlier tried unsuccessfully to partner with New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft in Foxboro and had been rumored to be looking at locations in Boston as recently as last fall, ultimately decided to try his luck in Everett and has so far been a big winner.
However, the successful Special Election decision on Saturday does not complete the deal for the Wynn proposal. A competitive proposal on the Revere and East Boston line at Suffolk Downs is expected to go before voters closer later this year and the Gaming Commission will be judging each proposal on its merits, before determining which developer will get the opportunity to open the state’s lone casino in the Boston area.