For much of 2015, talks of the impending Wynn Everett Casino along Massachusetts’ Mystic River were timid, at best. Yes, the casino license was granted to Wynn Resorts, whose owner agreed to dig deep in his bountiful pockets to pay for clean-up of a huge chemical mess on the 33-acre plot, but several cities opposed to the new casino have filed lawsuits to block its construction.
According to The Boston Globe, one of those lawsuits – perhaps the most significant among them, coming from the state capital of Boston – is no longer an obstacle for casino mogul Steve Wynn. After negotiating a new deal with the gambling tycoon, Mayor Martin J. Walsh confirmed on Wednesday that the city was dropping its litigation.
The new agreement will see Boston’s oldest neighborhood, Charlestown – the neighborhood that will be most impacted by the presence of Wynn Everett Casino, especially in terms of traffic congestion – receive an additional guaranteed $400,000 per year from the gambling resort.
Artistic Interpretation of upcoming Wynn Everett Casino Resort
All in all, Wynn has promised Charlestown $25 million to resolve the inevitable traffic situation that will be compounded throughout the area, particularly on the already choked thoroughfare of Sullivan Square, and $2 million per year to benefit community projects like art programs and youth groups.
But getting the City of Boston to acquiesce to the plan doesn’t solve all of the complications that could impede progress for Steve Wynn. He still has two other lawsuits to contend with; one from the neighboring City of Somerville, and another from the City of Revere.
On Thursday, Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone said that, despite losing a strong ally in Boston, they will continue to fight the Everett Casino.
“We believe a massive casino next door to the city of Somerville would greatly impact our quality of life and health,” said Mayor Curtatone, whose city is fighting Wynn Everett on environmental grounds. “What Boston does has no bearing on what we do in Somerville.”
The situation is a bit different in Revere, where the city supported another casino corporation that lost its bid to win. When the city initially filed litigation, its lawsuit was thrown out of court. That was a month ago, and Revere immediately appealed the decision. However, the city has yet to comment on whether they will continue to pursue blockage of the casino since Boston dropped its case on Wednesday.
For the time being, Wynn has already started the multi-step process of establishing the $1.7 billion gambling resort in Everett.
The first step is to clean up the chemical mess emitted from the 33-acre lot; the former location of the Monsanto chemical plant. A few months back, the crew began digging up the site to remove arsenic, lead and sulfur, and after boring over 2,000 test holes in the soil, Wynn reported finding no other dangerous problems.
The initial process of step two has already begun as well. Wynn has began the recruiting process of about 4,000 workers to construct the ornate, 24-story hotel and casino. The gambling resort could be completed as early as late 2018.
The Boston Globe spoke with several residents of Charlestown, and it seems most are pleased with the mayor’s decision in one way or another. While some are excited about the upcoming Wynn Everett as potential patrons, others support their Mayor’s decision-making capabilities, and/or believe the casino will have little bearing on what is already a “nightmare” traffic situation.