Hanging in the Wind

With the Massachusetts Gaming Commission about to begin its public deliberations on its
long awaited investigation, the City of Everett should be saying its prayers that the MGC will look the other way, approve Wynn Resorts as the licensee, and to get on with the business of opening the place at the end of June.

If the MGC blinks, and fails to approve the license for Wynn Resorts/Encore, the city is facing a calamity quite unlike any it has faced in its long and enduring history.

The city, that is, the mayor and his chief financial officer, the ubiquitous Eric Demas, are expecting a $30 million payment as directed in the Host Agreement on the day the doors open in June.

No open doors in June, no payment received. No payment received, the city struggles to pay its bills and to meet its legal obligations.

The moment of truth has not yet arrived but it is in transit.

In the meantime, the mayor and his CFO should be designing an emergency plan, a what if plan, so to speak, to meet any challenges that arise from surprises set upon the city by
an MGC decision that denies Wynn Resorts/Encore its license.

We urge the mayor and his CFO to meet this challenge head on in the event that the worst should happen.

What are the chances of the worst happening?

They are slim, we believe, but anything is possible.

This is, after all, Massachusetts. The state’s vaunted public effort to introduce casino gambling seamlessly, honestly and transparently has so far failed in Everett where the greatest gaming investment of its kind anywhere in the United States is nearly complete.

Wynn got awarded the right to the casino when it should have been awarded to Sterling Suffolk Downs because the FBI and the State Police investigators were sent on a wild goose chase tracking down nuances in the land deal, instead of focusing on exactly how Wynn, who was not suitable, “bought” the license from a rigged MGC led by Stephen Crosby, who had a long business relationship with Paul Lohnes, one of the original landowners, as well as unsanctioned discussions with Wynn and other prominent officials all intent on making sure Wynn got the license.

Today, the city faces calamity if Wynn Resorts/Encore does not open its doors at the end of June.

We have in earlier editorials urged the city to take heed and to act before the earth opens
and swallows us.

In the absence of any public discussion by Everett’s leadership of what happens if the license is lost, there is the harsh reality of what faces this city if such a scenario comes to reality.

Far better to be prepared than not to be prepared at all.



Leave a Reply