Wynn Resorts has engaged in talks with MGM Resorts about the potential sale of its $2.6 billion Everett casino, which is scheduled to open next month.
The companies on Friday confirmed the talks in a joint statement, which was first reported by The Boston Globe. MGM Resorts operates the only current resort casino in Massachusetts, in Springfield, and state law bans licensees from operating, investing in or owning another gaming license or gaming establishment, or from transferring a license without approval from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.
"Over the past several weeks, we have engaged in conversations around the potential sale of Encore Boston Harbor," the companies said. "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 statement continued: "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."
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission, after an investigation and public hearings, fined Wynn Resorts $35 million on April 30 and laid out conditions the company must meet to keep its Everett casino license. In a 54-page ruling, regulators cited "significant" and "repetitive" failures related to sexual misconduct allegations against founder Steve Wynn and the "considerable shortcomings" of its current chief executive, Matt Maddox.
Gaming commission spokeswoman Elaine Driscoll said in a statement Friday, "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."
Driscoll said the commission anticipates holding its next meeting on Wednesday.
~ Michael P. Norton/SHNS