Urges richer Host Agreement for city
By Darren Costa
For the Leader Herald
The Mass Gaming Commission (MGC) held a public hearing on April 25th in the Everett City Council Chambers to discuss the proposed Encore Casino East of Broadway expansion project. A major topic was whether to hold a vote for the expansion of the Encore Casino. Overall, I support a Wynn LLC expansion in Everett’s “Entertainment District” — under some critical conditions.
Given the material increase in the Encore Casino’s gaming footprint and operations, including sports gaming, Everett and Wynn need to renegotiate the original Host Agreement.
I support Wynn because they have been a partner in cleaning toxic land, but there is more to be done. Unfortunately, Everett came up short in the first negotiation of the Host Agreement with Wynn. I would not approve expansion until we have an updated agreement that supports the interests of Everett’s residents much more thoroughly. Until now, there has been minimal contact between Wynn and Everett’s City Council. In 2022, during a City Council meeting, Wynn acknowledged and committed to a negotiation, in good faith, that considers current economic conditions and beyond. We should be ready to bring great ideas forward during this process. Here are a few of mine.
Moving forward, Wynn should lead programs in collaboration with the City of Everett. Everett needs a well-considered and enforced strategy for solving our affordable housing crisis. Currently, Everett only receives a (small) community impact fee and frankly we don’t have the capacity to develop and manage the programs necessary to drive solutions alone.Continue reading “Costa wants more money, program ideas from Wynn”