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License in hand, Wynn Resorts ready to open Everett casino in June

  Encore Boston Harbor arranged a job fair at the Hynes Convention Center in March.
Encore Boston Harbor arranged a job fair at the Hynes Convention Center in March.

On Tuesday, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission confirmed that Wynn Resorts is capable of running a casino in Massachusetts, after 1[ads1]5 months of investigation and contemplation on how the company handled sexual negligence charges against the founder and former CEO, Steve Wynn.

Investigators found that some former leaders covered allegations against Wynn, now 77. He has refused to assault any women.

State regulators also concluded that all of the Company's current top officials are capable of holding their positions, including CEO Matt Maddox, who faced tough questions from the Commission's members on a three-day hearing in April.

While the commissioners said they were greatly disturbed by "repeated systemic errors and pervasive culture of nondisclosure" by the company, they recognized that changes in Wynn Resorts over the past year "show a new discovery and focus on All levels of employees, which in combination with the ongoing successful business, continue to demonstrate that Wynn [Resorts] is likely to be a successful operator in Everett. "

The commission fined the company $ 35 million and Maddox $ 500,000. The company has not decided whether it will appeal to the superior court. "We're about to review the decision and consider the full spectrum of our next steps," Wynn Resorts said in a statement.

Advocate General Maura Healey said that the punishment was not steep enough. "While this was the game commission's decision to do, I am disappointed that the penalty and conditions imposed on Wynn were not stronger to keep this company accountable for concealing the truth from the public and the state."

Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria said he is very happy that the company has retained its casino license. Since arriving in Everett, Wynn Resorts has purchased the idea that the Lower Broadway area could be transformed into a business and entertainment area, he said.

"It wasn't about a resort, it was about a vision of an area It was to be rebuilt," he said. "I'm happy Matt [Maddox] is still there because Matt shared that vision."

] The company has bought land around the casino site for future development, and is working on the city on a number of transportation proposals, including a pedestrian bridge over the Mystic River to the Assembly Orange Line Stop, as well as potential Silver Line and commuter stops, DeMaria said. "They've kept every promise they've made so far," he said.

  A sign of the new Encore Boston Harbor Casino was seen in Everett.
A sign of the new Encore Boston Harbor Casino was seen in Everett (Jessica Rinaldi / Globe Staff / File 2019)

Everett resort is about 96 percent done, according to Peter Campot, project director of construction. About 800 construction workers work on site – down from a peak of more than 1800 – reach most of the hand The finishing, for example, the final carpet installation, stone and tile work, external planting and landscaping and stamp lists.

It is a large building and the easiest way to understand it is by sections. The northern end of the property, furthest from the Mystic River, is the secluded area that guests never see, including the dining room for workers and the hardware and service areas required to run a large hotel. About 200 to 300 Wynn Resorts employees are now working actively in this part of the building, says Robert DeSalvio, Encore's President.

Moved south along the property lies the casino. It is a massive space with high ceilings, ringed by a balcony and mezzanine level and illuminated by clusters of red chandeliers. Almost all of the planned 3,100 slot machines are installed, DeSvio said. The gambling floor is broken up by two major extensions from the mezzanine level – one will be used for high-limit table games and slot machines, the other as the casino's poker room. A nightclub and a sports bar on the mezzanine will look at the casino.

Next is the hotel lobby, where a tall glass wall faces the Mystic River and Boston skyline. The company is planning a large flower and tree garden for the center of the lobby. Two curved escalators connect to the lobby bar and another restaurant on the mezzanine. In total, the resort will have 15 bars and restaurants, including a buffet.

Signature of the art work – a Jeff Koon's sculpture by Popeye bought for $ 28 million in 2014 – is expected to arrive in early June. It has been shown at Wynn Las Vegas. The company had originally planned that the sculpture should stand between the lobby stairs. Instead, it will be installed in a nearby corridor, where it will be more convenient for guests to photograph and pose with, said DeSalvio. The space between the escalators will be occupied by a glazed ceramic urn by the artist Viola Frey, the company said.

The resort's meeting and conference room stretches along the peninsula that extends from the casino area to the Mystic River, ending with the casino's main ballroom.

The hotel has 671 rooms and suites, and the prices are, we say, robust. The company's website shows room rates from $ 645 to a "premier king" room, to $ 5,000 for a 3550 square foot "two-bedroom home".

The eight year old road to a resort in the Boston area Casino has been a long, strange trip.

Massachusetts legalized casino games in 2011, and created a slot machine license and a resort casino license in each of the three regions – Western Mass, Greater Boston and Southeast. In the beginning, most casino developers were away from Greater Boston, provided Suffolk Downs, on the East Boston Revere line, and its casino partner, Caesars Entertainment, had the Eastern Massachusetts license locked.

Wynn Resorts challenged that assumption, pitching a casino in Foxborough, only to retire in the face of fierce social opposition. In his second attempt, Wynn Resorts tried Everett, where the proposed Mystic River resort at a former chemical facility was approved by 86 percent of city dwellers at a 2013 referendum.

The license-form competition as a clash of Las Vegas Titans – Wynn Resorts vs. Caesars. But it never struck after state investigators traveled red flags in Caesar's background check and the company left the project. Due to the surprising news, Suffolk Downs lost his referendum in East Boston. The project's supporters then revised the plan to fit the Revere side of the racetrack completely, pushing with a new partner, Mohegan Sun.

Wynn Resorts had their own problems. In 2013, questions were raised as to whether a former criminal had a secret effort in the country the country had chosen for its casino. The Game Commission allowed the project to move forward after Wynn Resorts lowered the country's purchase price to the rated market value to remove the benefits of selling to a wealthy casino company. Three of the former landowners were accused, but eventually acquitted.

Wynn Resorts won the license in 2014.

Mark Arsenault can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @bostonglobemark

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