The Massachusetts Gaming Commission voted last week to impose several new conditions for the operation of the Wynn Resorts’ Encore Casino in Everett. The conditions were set in reaction to Wynn’s plan to build an events center across Broadway from the casino with an overhead walkway that will connect both structures.
According to MGC chairwoman Cathy Judd-Stein, it could take a few weeks before the commission could draft and circulate the conditions but MGC counsel Todd Grossman and the commission’s head of community affairs already had a draft of the seven conditions which were discussed during last Monday’s meeting.
Said Grossman in a statement:
“The more narrow question was whether part four of the four-part test, whether the commission has a regulatory interest in including all or parts of the proposed development as parts of the gaming establishment, would be essentially addressed by way of these conditions. So that’s why these conditions are important.”
Seven Conditions Set by Massachusetts Gaming Commission
Two of the conditions were set to address the commission’s concerns with the Live Entertainment venue, namely to limit the no. of seats to below 1000, in compliance to state laws on entertainment venues built within casinos and to exclude restrictions on entertainers booked to perform at the venue barring them from performing elsewhere in the state Another two required Wynn to submit the company’s building plans and security plans for the planned pedestrian bridge and parking area.
Another condition prohibits employees at the planned development from having access to restricted gaming-related spaces while another required Wynn to submit plans for any future developments in the area to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission ahead of time. Then the MGC required the gambling company to begin its Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) review process.
Phase 1 of Development Project
Under Phase 1 of its development project, Wynn is planning to build a 20,000 square feet of restaurant space, a 999-seat live entertainment venue, a 2,200 space parking area, and a 400-foot pedestrian bridge that will connect the new development to the $2.6 billion Encore Casino that opened in 2019. Two hotels and a brewery or brewpub are expected to be added in the next phase of its project.
The gambling company argued last month that its planned development should not be under the Gaming Commission’s jurisdiction. However, Commissioners said that they were mindful of balancing the MGC’s broad oversight function and the economic aims that are included in the state’s 2011 expanded gaming law.