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Encore Boston Harbor sale a nonstarter—again

For what looks like the third time in roughly a year, negotiations to sell Wynn Resorts’ Everett casino go nowhere

A large, rectangular, and curved building looming over a parking lot. Boston Globe via Getty Images

For what might be the third time in roughly a year, talks to sell the Encore Boston Harbor casino-resort in Everett have ended.

This time, it was MGM Resorts pulling out of negotiations with Encore Boston Harbor developer Wynn Resorts. The two Las Vegas companies had apparently been in talks ahead of the 3 million-square-foot complex’s scheduled opening this summer.

Apparent opposition to such a trade from various stakeholders led MGM to pull out of the negotiations, according to a May 21 report in the Boston Globe. “We think the best course of action is to discontinue discussions concerning this opportunity,” MGM said in a statement. “We wish the company and the Everett community all the best and look forward to visiting their beautiful resort when it opens and welcoming the 5,600 employees to our industry.”

The last time Wynn was said to be selling the 34-acre site was in April 2018, though reports then did not reference any potential buyers and Wynn was mum on likely suitors. That was not the case the first go-round, when Wynn talked with Caesars Entertainment and MGM earlier in 2018.

As it looks now, Wynn appears to be moving forward with Encore Boston Harbor’s grand opening sometime between late June and early July. The opening will cap years of planning and controversy, much of it stemming from the sexual assault and harassment allegations against ousted Wynn Resorts founder Steve Wynn.

Those allegations led to major fines from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission this past April against Wynn Resorts and its chief executive, Matthew Maddox. Those fines, though, did not derail the casino-resort’s march toward that grand opening. Stay tuned.