Massachusetts’ Attorney General, Maura Healey, is calling for a delay to the granting of a key permit for Wynn Resorts Ltd’s casino project (pictured in a rendering) in Everett, north of Boston, citing the need to solve traffic congestion problems near the site.
The Associated Press reported on Friday – quoting a letter from the official to Massachusetts’ environmental affairs secretary – that Ms Healey had stated: “If you approve the casino without a long-term traffic mitigation plan, we may never get one.”
The official to whom the letter was addressed, Matthew Beaton, is expected to issue a decision by this Friday, reports the news outlet.
Wynn Resorts needs a certificate from state officials in order to break ground on the project, which is due to open in 2018. Project plans call for a hotel, casino, shopping, dining and entertainment complex on about 30 acres (12.1 hectares) of formerly industrial land.
The Associated Press quoted Wynn Resorts’ spokesman Michael Weaver saying on Friday that the environmental and traffic review requires the company to “mitigate our traffic impacts, not solve decades-long traffic issues which pre-date our project.”
Wells Fargo Securities LLC said in a note on February 4 that Wynn Everett was “expected to cost US$1.75 billion”.
Wynn Resorts’ chairman, Steve Wynn, in October told GGRAsia that he expected the Wynn Everett property to attract Chinese and other Asian customers, given the importance of Boston as a centre for education and technology.
In November, Massachusetts voters rejected – via ballot – a move to repeal a 2011 state law that allows up to three regional casino resorts and one electronic gaming parlour in the state.
Massachusetts’ gambling regulators in June 2014 gave their approval for a licence for a US$800-million MGM Resorts International casino in the state.
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Chief executive of Macau gambling junket investor Tak Chun Group