Greater Boston casino license granted despite ballot question

BOSTON (WWLP) – Two casinos could be opening their doors in Massachusetts: MGM in Springfield and now Wynn Resorts, which finalized the license to build a $1.6 billion casino in Everett, just north of Boston. With less than two months until Election Day, the ballot question to repeal the state gaming law was an off-limits subject for gaming regulators.

“Let me just say that we’re not going to talk about the ballot at all today,” said Massachusetts Gaming Commission Chair James McHugh.

Casino mogul Steve Wynn was not present at the signing, but has said in the past that he would not get involved with campaign efforts. That could change now that Wynn has been granted the lucrative Greater Boston casino license. The deal could generate more than $700 million a year in gambling revenue for the state.

“Whether or not we’re going to get involved at a later date, we haven’t come to that conclusion yet, but certainly this is going to be up to the citizens of Massachusetts to decide in November,” said Robert DeSalvio of Wynn Resorts.

Casino opponents believe the new Wynn deal could benefit their campaigning efforts.

“The fact that the Gaming Commission moved ahead at all and awarded any licenses really works in our favor. They shouldn’t have handed out any licenses yesterday. Either say neither one of you are suitable or let’s just put this thing on hold,” said John Ribeiro of “Repeal the Casino Deal.”

Voters will decide whether to repeal the state gaming law on Election Day, November 4.

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