The project on 34 acres has been in the works since late 2014, when the Massachusetts Gaming Commission selected Wynn Resorts out of Las Vegas to construct the sole Boston-area gambling resort under a state law dating from 2011, which divided Massachusetts into different territories for such casinos.
Allegations that came to light in January 2018 of sexual assault and harassment against Wynn Resorts founder, chief executive, and chairman, Steve Wynn, however, threatened to derail the project as the gaming commission considered pulling the company’s license. Wynn the company was even considered selling what was then known as the Wynn Boston Harbor.
After the company jettisoned its founder, the newly renamed Encore Boston Harbor appeared on track for its scheduled June 2019 opening. The gaming commission’s decision on the last day of April to fine Wynn Resorts $35 million and its chief executive, Matthew Maddox, $500,000 confirmed that likelihood.
Though the commission concluded that “the corporate culture of the founder-led organization led to disparate treatment of [Steve Wynn] in ways that left the most vulnerable at grave risk,” it still found Wynn Resorts suitable to run a casino in Massachusetts.
Construction on that casino—which will also include a hotel, a spa, convention space, retail, a publicly accessible riverwalk with quite a few trees, and several restaurants—is scheduled to wrap June 1 so there is time to train and outfit Encore Boston Harbor’s approximately 5,000-strong workforce. Stay tuned.