It is believed that many in the Boston and Las Vegas branches of the Wynn Resorts organization were surprised and completely taken aback by the sudden designation of their project as ‘at risk’ by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) on March 29.
That, as many believe, might be in play as the Wynn group continues to allegedly contemplate a sale – even one that might not work in the best interests of the MGC.
With that in mind, the recent actions regarding a potential sale of the property have been framed in the above manner, and with that context in mind, a statement last Friday by Wynn CEO Matt Maddox becomes very clear.
Maddox said they are excited about the Boston market, but not so excited about comments recently made – one assumes by the MGC.
“Our company stands for quality and five-star service and is uniquely situated to deliver one the best integrated resorts in the world for both customers and employees in Everett, Massachusetts,” he said. “We remain very excited about the Boston market. However, our obligation to shareholders is always to maximize the value of our assets and to mitigate risk. These obligations are particularly relevant in light of recent commentary that was made despite our rapid and decisive efforts to sever all ties with our former Chairman, actively searching for new diverse board members, and fully cooperating with the regulators in Massachusetts and elsewhere.”
Wynn Resorts spokesman Michael Weaver said they had no direct comment on talks regarding the sale of the project, supposed talks that have sparked rampant speculation in the media.
Some of the most onerous reports in the media were that MGM was going to sell their project in Springfield, scheduled to open its doors in a matter of months, to Mohegan Sun. Then, as the narrative went, they would purchase the Wynn Boston Harbor project and see it to completion.
Mayor Carlo DeMaria told the Independent last week, and then the rest of the media this week, that he doesn’t want to do business with any other operator.
“There’s a grander vision here than just a casino,” Mayor DeMaria said. “We are planning for a whole new district in the City of Everett that can generate a lot of great jobs. The Wynn Corporation has demonstrated it can partner with us to fulfill that vision.
“I am deeply concerned that a new owner would not honor that vision and could have plans that fall far short of what we want to see happen- a complete transformation of an area that had been blighted, contaminated, and underutilized before the Wynn development team arrived,” he continued. “As I have said before, the MGC must finish its suitability investigation as quickly and efficiently as possible so that we can move forward as a city with the largest private construction projects in this state’s history.”
DeMaria also said he was encouraged that the MGC has begun the process of removing Steve Wynn from their books, and he also said anyone else found to be unsuitable should also be removed.
“I am encouraged the Commission has begun the process of removing Mr. Wynn as a qualifier and a participant in the gaming license,” he said. “I believe that anyone else who is found unsuitable as a result of their process should also be removed so we can move forward on this project. This high-performing organization of 27,000 employees worldwide is the right partner for us, right now, and I want their work to continue on in Everett.”
- Meanwhile, on the City Council, Councilors Wayne Matewsky, Leo McKinnon and Rose DiFlorio are asking for any information they can get.
As the MGC and Wynn have battled, with commentary from the mayor thrown in, the Council has been left out of the loop.
The three councilors are prepared to file an order at Monday’s meeting to call for a representative from Wynn Resorts and a representative from the MGC come to the meeting to inform them of what is happening.
Many on the Council, also, are now of the opinion that the MGC may not have the City’s best interests at heart.
“It’s time for Everett to have its own voice,” one councilor said. “We can’t let the Gaming Commission forget about what we want to accomplish here.”
- A piece of news that flew a bit under the radar, but probably figures to be critical in Everett, was the announcement on Monday of a settlement in the six-year legal fight between former Wynn CEO Steve Wynn and his ex-wife, Elaine Wynn, in a Nevada court.
The long-time fight was a battle over a shareholder agreement and her interests in the company following their divorce. That lawsuit was the genesis of information that led to the sexual misconduct allegations against Steve Wynn – allegations that led to his complete downfall within his own company. During that lawsuit, the $7.5 million payment to a manicurist at the casino became public.
That suit was to start at trial this month, and there were expected to be many more surprises as testimony began – particularly from former Wynn employees. That, however, will not take place now.
Steve Wynn was said to have paid an undisclosed sum to Elaine Wynn to resolve the matter.
Wynn Resorts and Wynn General Counsel Kim Sinatra were released from breach of contract claims.
The matter is now considered over.