Boston, USA - Just a couple of days ago, news broke that MGM Resorts International and Wynn Resorts Ltd. were in talks about the possibility of MGM buying the newly-built Encore Boston Harbor Resort from Wynn. However, it looks like those plans have fallen through.
Wynn has just announced that the potential sale of the $2.6 billion casino resort just outside of Boston is no longer happening. They have released a statement, saying: “After careful consideration, we have agreed to cease discussions with MGM Resorts. We remain committed to opening and operating Encore Boston Harbor as only Wynn Resorts is able to do.”
The initial announcement regarding the potential sale had gaming industry analysts and gambling enthusiasts scratching their heads. There were suggestions that perhaps the controversy Wynn’s former CEO and chairman Steve Wynn was embroiled in was a major factor in convincing company executives to consider selling the yet-to-be-opened resort.
Steve Wynn was previously accused of sexual harassment, and the Massachusetts Gaming Commission fined Wynn Resorts a record $35 million for failing to act on those accusations as well as for failure to disclose a settlement in one of the cases. Commissioners also stated that they will assign a monitor at the company’s expense. The monitor will be tasked to oversee the operations of Encore Boston Harbor for three years.
This controversy and its accompanying consequences made it difficult for analysts to understand why MGM would be interested in taking ownership of the resort. Additionally, the gaming laws of Massachusetts state that a company can only own and operate one casino resort in the state. Therefore, if the deal had come into fruition, MGM would have had to sell its existing casino resort in Springfield.
In a statement announcing the end of their talks with Wynn, MGM has said: “We have noted the anxiety raised by various stakeholders regarding a transaction and this troubles us at MGM. We only wish to have a positive impact on communities in which we operate. We think the best course of action is to discontinue discussions concerning this opportunity.”
The MGM spokesperson further said, “We are committed to our Springfield community and proud of what we have accomplished including thousands of jobs and millions of dollars of revenue for small businesses in the area.”
In response to queries about the cancelled talks, Wynn Resorts spokesperson Deanna Pettit-Irestone has said, “Wynn Resorts prides itself on the design, development and operation of the world’s best integrated resorts. At times, world-class assets attract the attention of others and our board takes seriously its fiduciary duty to review such interest.” The casino resort, which has 671 rooms, is scheduled to open on June 23.
Asked about the latest developments, Everett City Councilor Mike McLaughlin has this to say: “Our community only supports Encore Boston Harbor opening Everett’s resort. I hope this will end these talks and we can get back to working on opening plans for the day, weeks, and months leading up to and beyond June 23rd.”