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Encore Boston Harbor opening on June 23 after all

Fines and a possible sale had threatened to derail the Everett casino-resort’s scheduled debut

A multistory casino building on a waterfront. Boston Globe via Getty Images

Encore Boston Harbor, the Boston area’s only casino-resort, will open on June 23 after all.

Encore Boston Harbor President Robert DeSalvio told the Massachusetts Gaming Commission on May 22 that the 3 million-square-foot, 34-acre complex on the banks of the Mystic River in Everett would be ready to go as scheduled on that day.

The opening will cap years of planning, construction, and controversy. Only a few days ago it looked as if developer and owner Wynn Resorts would sell the casino-resort to fellow Las Vegas concern MGM Resorts. The companies’ broke off talks, however, amid pushback from elected officials and others.

That was the third time that Wynn had contemplated unloading Encore Boston Harbor, which has reportedly cost $2.6 billion to develop. Wynn won the eastern Massachusetts gaming license for the casino in September 2014.

The company’s plans seemed to fall apart, though, amid sexual assault and harassment allegations around three years later against its founder and chairman, Steve Wynn. The company jettisoned Wynn, and the Massachusetts Gaming Commission in April 2019 fined both it and its CEO, Matthew Maddox, over issues stemming from the allegations.

The MGM sale talk emerged shortly afterward. But, with that out of the way and with construction and staff training nearing completion, the resort and its many parts appear ready to go for June 23.