Massachusetts Officials Refuse to Give Permit for New Wynn Casino
Friday April 3rd 2015, Governor Baker refused to issue a permit this week to the developers of the new Wynn casino to move forward with their expansion in Massachusetts. This new addition to Wynn’s line-up will be a 1.7 billion dollar hotel and casino that overlooks the Mystic River located in Everett, if allowed to move forward. The MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority) recently sold 1.75 acres to Wynn for $6 million less than a month ago wanting the land for access to the main site.
Matthew Beaton secretary of energy and environmental affairs for the governor says that the land transfer violates the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act. It was sold before the agency had a chance to review the casino project.
Beaton wants the Wynn group to update their policies on how they will deal with environmental issues like traffic, noise, safety and safety. The group must discuss the recent sale of land with the Governor’s staff and come to an agreement on these issues before too much time and money is lost.
Beaton suggested two possible solutions to the problem with the land sale. One is a reversal of the land transfer or putting the land in escrow until the agency reviews it. Beaton said he does not plan to derail the project just wants to postpone it until more information is provided. The governor’s administration was frustrated by the sale of the land without their knowledge.
Wynn officials said with this decision made the casino will not open until 2018. They think the delay is just another step closer to getting the project off the ground. President, Robert DeSalvio said that they were disappointed that the jobs created by the casino and tax benefits will be delayed.
Beaton wants the MBTA and Department of Transportation to improve the way they flag land transfers in future projects. This is costing the more than it may be worth, something that he does not want to happen again if so.
The Wynn Everett group will now have to work with Massachusetts Department of Transportation to address these issues and finalize a solution. Beaton expects their update in include a transportation update and financial information about Orange Line subsidy.
The gambling complex will include a 629 room hotel on 34 acre site located off Rt. 99. Wynn wants the 1.75 acres for an access road to the casino. This would insure it was within the Boston city limits. This would also give Boston officials less control over the operation.
The city of Boston, amung others, have sued the Massachusetts Gaming Commission for awarding the contract. Mayor Dan Rizzo called on the State Inspector General and Attorney Generals Office to investigate the recent land sale. The biggest problem the Wynn staff faces is dealing with the increased transportation problems the casino will bring to Sullivan Square.