Not too long ago, Wynn Resort Ltd.’s Boston area casino was being praised as a potential engine for growth for the local community as well as the investors and the company that was building it.
The project was approaching completion and an opening looked imminent. Then something mysterious seemed to occur. Earlier this year, there were sexual misconduct allegations made against the company founder, Steve Wynn. Suddenly, the state of Massachusetts’s threated to pull the casino’s license if it came to determine that Wynn company executives knew about their bosses’ behavior and failed to disclose it.
This, however, does not seem to be the only hang up.
Other Causes for the Delay
No, in fact, there is now another potential cause for the delayed opening of this $2.5 million Wynn Boston Harbor complex. It happens to be on land that was previously owned by two convicted felons, one of which allegedly has ties to the mob.
This is, of course, problematic. In fact, most times hotel developers take careful steps to ensure that themselves and their construction investments have no connection—not even a tenuous one—to any stakeholders or individuals with criminal ties. They simply do not want to risk endangering the public’s trust in their gaming operations.
Five years ago when this project first got underway, the state’s gaming regulator did determine that the sale of the land for the project was not a problematic one. However, new information as become available that has apparently changed that.
In court testimony, two witnesses have said that Wynn group knew about one of the land seller’s criminal histories in advance of the land deal being signed for this casino. Wynn has denied that any of its executives knew about this, and they have also said that the witness’ testimony is not credible.
The Future of the Wynn Boston Harbor
So what then, does all of this mean for the future of the Wynn Boston Harbor?
Well, the answer to that question is unsurprisingly more than a little bit complicated. Wynn Resorts Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Matt Maddox has said that he very much remains committed to finishing this $2.5 billion casino. He has, however, also qualified that by saying that he also wants to “maximize the value of our assets and mitigate risk.”
Last week, Bloomberg News reported that Wynn Resorts has actually discussed selling this troubled Massachusetts project to another rival casino operator, MGM Resorts International, according to news reports in the hospitality market.
As Massachusetts regulators continue to investigate what others on the Wynn board knew about Steve Wynn’s behavior, such a sale could get the company out of what is a potentially disastrous and costly set of circumstances.
Let’s take a look at a few other projects currently underway by Wynn Resorts: