EVERETT, Mass. - It isn't even open yet, but Wynn Resorts is in talks with MGM to sell its nearly $3 billion resort and casino.
Owner of Wynn Resorts and its national competitor MGM are in talks about a potential sale of Encore Boston Harbor, eight years after the project began in Everett and less than a year after MGM opened its own casino in Springfield.
"We're so close to the opening of the Boston harbor hotel on June 23rd there or abouts that I didn't see this coming," said Everett City Councilor Michael McLaughlin.
McLaughlin said he supported the Everett casino when the idea came up eight years ago, and says protections for the city negotiated by Mayor Carlo DeMaria were vital.
"I do applaud the mayor for giving the city protection because the city supported a 5-star destination coming into Everett that was Wynn resorts, if another developer comes into Everett we have a whole entire different ball game," McLaughlin said.
MGM Resorts International and Wynn Resorts have released a joint statement about their discussion.
"Over the past several weeks, we have engaged in conversations around the potential sale of Encore Boston Harbor. They are very preliminary and of the nature that publicly traded corporations like ours often engage in, and in fact when opportunities such as this are presented, we are required to explore. We cannot say today where these conversations will lead, however, we can reaffirm our commitment to the communities where we operate today.
The people of Springfield and Everett welcomed us into their neighborhoods. We know that is a privilege and we take it seriously. Our conversations will not impact the jobs at our facilities and will not impact the opening of Encore Boston Harbor. Regardless of where this leads us, we will ensure that our commitments will be met, and that those who welcomed us into their communities will not be disappointed."
Boston 25 News reached out to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to see if MGM would be allowed under state law to own another casino in Mass. Spokesperson Elaine Driscoll told us the law only allows a licensee to hold one license at a time.
She went on to say,
"The Commission’s written decision stands. The deadline for fine payment and notice of appeal is May 31. The MGC continues to focus its efforts on the significant amount of regulatory preparations required before Encore’s opening."
The Mayor of Everett Carlo DeMaria sent Boston 25 News the following statement:
"I had the foresight to include section 10 in the host community agreement that states, 'Neither Wynn nor the City shall transfer or assign its rights or obligations under this Agreement without prior written authorization of the other party.'"
Springfield Mayor Dominic Sarno says MGM told him about their talks and assured him that they are committed to Springfield.
The casino is set to open on June 23, but legal issues could mean delays. The Gaming Commission recently levied a $35 million fine against Wynn for its alleged handling of sexual misconduct allegations against founder Steve Wynn, who is no longer with the casino giant.
Casino officials were given 30 days to pay the massive fine.
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