The competition for the single casino license in the Boston area was between Steve Wynn’s proposed casino in Everett, Massachusetts (located on the site of an abandoned Monsanto chemical plant) and the Mohegan Sun backed project to add a resort casino to the Suffolk Downs racetrack in Revere, Massachusetts.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission voted on Tuesday with the five-member body voting 3-1 in favor of the Wynn project, with Stephen Crosby recusing himself from Tuesday’s vote. The sole vote for the Suffolk Downs/Mohegan Sun project was MGC Chairman James McHugh who favored the Mohegan Sun/Suffolk Downs project.
Voting for the Wynn project were Commissioners Gayle Cameron, Bruce Stebbins and Enrique Zuniga.
According to The Courant, a major difference between the two proposals was the number of jobs that would be created and the salary of those jobs. The Suffolk Downs Casino would have created 2,538 full-time jobs with an annual payroll of $107.5 million by Year 5. The Wynn proposal will create 3,287 full-time jobs with an annual payroll of $186.4 million in payroll by Year 5.
The difference maker for Everett and Wynn could boil down to 749 additional jobs and average annual wages of $56,708 for the Wynn project compared to $42,356 for Mohegan Sun.
You can see models and artists renditions of the Wynn Casino on the Mystic River in Revere at the Boston Globe.
Following the vote, Suffolk Downs Chief Operating Officer Chip Tuttle released a statement essentially saying Suffolk Downs will be closing down:
“We are extraordinarily disappointed as this action is likely to cost the Commonwealth thousands of jobs, small business and family farms. We will be meeting with employees and horsemen over the next several days to talk about how we wind down racing operations as a 79-year legacy of thoroughbred racing in Massachusetts will be coming to an end, resulting in unemployment and uncertainty for many hard-working people.”
The vote by the MGC comes just two months before Massachusetts voters decide the fate of the 2011 casino expansion law, and the MGC seems intent on having as many t’s crossed as possible prior to the vote to help alleviate any uncertainty in the minds of voters, particularly in areas where casinos have been proposed.
Recent polling has shown increasing support for keeping the casino laws.
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