By Josh Resnek
Encore has been given the right to expand across the street on Broadway with a major development that includes gaming in a decision made by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission last week.
The expansion was approved Wednesday by a vote of 4-1.
Wynn Resorts, the owner of Encore, is now authorized to have gaming on both sides of Broadway.
The upcoming construction will include a dedicated poker room, a second sports betting salon, a theater, and a parking garage as well as a bridge (pedestrian walkway) spanning the breadth of lower Broadway from the new expansion site to the casino itself.
The “Memoire” nightclub will also be relocated there.
The MGC’s decision is based on its favorable interpretation of the 2013 referendum that brought the casino to Everett.
The question about the referendum was whether it allowed Wynn to launch the casino on the Encore Boston Harbor site specifically or whether voters had agreed to a general casino license. The details of the referendum are the exact reason why the new casino will only be offering sports betting and poker – at least until legislative changes are introduced.
This was a big but expected win for Wynn.
In more ways than care to discuss, this was a giant win for Wynn Resorts.
It proves that Wynn can continue expanding across the street based on its proximity to the main gaming sight.
It secures the notion and the reality that the future of lower Broadway is inextricably tied to expansion by Encore primarily, and by secondary interests as well.
One such interest is believed to be Patriot’s owner Bob Kraft wanting to build a soccer stadium on industrial land across from the casino.
The theater to be built by Encore will allow stage performances of a larger format to be held in a separate auditorium with parking across the street from the casino and hotel.
Also, gaming will be allowed to make the entertainment scenario seamless as well as profitable.