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Wynn's Encore Boston Harbor to Add Sportsbook, Concert Hall

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Everett, Massachusetts, is actively engaged in the transformation of its industrial waterfront into a major tourist destination, and the city's planning will rely heavily on Wynn Resorts to play a pivotal role in this process. Consent was granted to Wynn Resorts for its expansion project, situated strategically opposite the Encore Boston Harbor casino.

Wynn Resorts Grows Massachusetts Footprint

According to the Everett Independent, Wynn has been granted consent for an expansion spanning 142,000 square feet. This project, known as East of Broadway, aims to accommodate sports betting and poker rooms, as well as a multitude of restaurants and a concert hall with 979 seats.

Related: Massachusetts Shows Mixed Results in June 2023 Revenue Report

A pedestrian bridge will link the new casino to the upcoming expansion, which will encompass areas previously occupied by industrial structures and parking lots. Wynn has not indicated how long it will take to complete the development once it secures all necessary permits.

On October 2, the county granted its ultimate consent for the casino operator, signifying a significant milestone for Wynn. However, the project's progression still hinges on gaining the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act Office's green light.

This project is being thoroughly analyzed by the state agency to determine its possible ecological consequences. The website of MEPA states that the period for public comments on their decision concluded on Tuesday, and the final decision regarding certification is anticipated to be made on Monday.

Overcoming Obstacles

Legal issues arose regarding the geographical boundaries within which Wynn could establish its gaming activities, prompting concerns over the expansion. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is tasked with deciding whether the expansion can be encompassed within the ambit of Encore Casino's license, as per the 2013 referendum outcome.

In March, the Gaming Commission made a decision stating that the Wynn development plan in its original form, lacking poker and sports betting, would not fall under the authority of the casino operator nor be subject to the commission's permission or assessment. Consequently, Encore's anticipated outcomes were not achieved.

After the legalization of sports betting in Massachusetts last summer, the casino operator's trajectory took a turn as it sought to broaden its horizons east of Broadway. The revised blueprint included casino games such as poker alongside sports betting, necessitating their compliance with the gambling industry and falling under the purview of the controlling entity.

A 45-acre site owned by Constellation Energy in Everett was subsequently obtained by Wynn for $25 million through an auction. This site, situated right next to Encore Boston's planned expansion, plays a crucial role in the operator's grand vision for the city's waterfront.

City and state officials, along with the Gaming Commission, now have the green light to thoroughly examine the entire project following Wednesday's ruling.

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