Will they or won’t they?

By Josh Resnek

A spate of articles in the national and local press, and online throughout the media, are speculating about whether or not Wynn Resorts is going to sign the adjudicatory judgment made against them, pay the $35 million fine and send its CEO Matt Maddox to training school after he pays his $500,000 fine.

In Nevada, at the major daily in the state, the Las Vegas Review Journal’s Rick Velotta has suggested that paying the fine immediately and getting on with business is not so easy for the gaming giant – that there actually might be the possibility that Wynn Resorts won’t agree to the judgment or will pursue legal remedies in court.

The largest fine ever levied against a gaming corporation by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission needs to be paid within 30 days of the judgment.

In Nevada, according to gaming laws there, Wynn would have ben required to pay the fine on the day of the judgment or forgo their license.

No one from Wynn Resorts would speak on the record about this matter except to say that Wynn’s lawyers are reviewing the details of the MGC judgment with executives from Wynn Resorts.

The lawyers will presumably detail to the Wynn executives what exactly Wynn Resorts should do.

Should they sign and pay?

Should they refuse and go to court?

Should they say goodbye to Massachusetts while the going is good – or get bogged down in minutiae which casino/hotel operations are not used to?

These are among a bevy of questions swirling around and adding to the intrigue of trying to determine will they pay or will they go?

“They will pay, guaranteed,” said an industry source familiar with the MGC decision who has had dealings with former Wynn Resorts founder, Steve Wynn.

“They will pay close to the last day possible in order to show the MGC decision was not a slam dunk – but rather – a decision carefully made after legal consultation,” added the source.

“Everything will be done to show that Wynn is in control – not the MGC,” he added.

Local leaders agreed Wynn Resorts will pay.

“They would be crazy not to pay and they are not crazy,” Councilor Wayne Matewsky told the Leader Herald.

“For anyone to think they will walk away from this is insanity,” he added.

Matewsky knows of what he speaks in this instance.

After investing an estimated $2.6 billion – which may not be $2.6 billion but a significantly smaller figure – Wynn Resorts could sell its interest in the project. It could sell half its interest in the project. It could just walk away.

But it won’t.

“The income projections are simply too great for Wynn to walk away. It would be an act that could cause shareholders of Wynn Resorts stock to cause a revolution,” said a collection of local public officials, business leaders and those on both sides of the gaming scene.

The entire city council, and the mayor are adamant Wynn will pay the fine and agree to the MGC ruling. Wynn executives have predicted the casino and hotel complex could take in as much as $2 billion during its first year and pay $100 million in taxes to the state.

Everett stands to gain from a $30 million yearly payment and the added benefits of room taxes it will receive for every room rented every time they are occupied. With 670 rooms, the income just from the hotel could prove to be a financial inspiration for the city treasury.

Will they or won’t they pay the fine and get on with business?

Local odds makers aren’t taking bets on the matter.

“You’d have to bet $1000 to make $50 on a winning bet if you decide they are going to go forward,” said a well known former bookmaker in the city.

But what if Wynn’s lawyers make the case that the agreement should not be signed, that the agreement is simply too restrictive and that Wynn will not have control of Everett the way Wynn controls its Las Vegas properties and its property in Macau, China.

They’d probably be fired.

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