Fish calls casino ‘game-changer’ for MA

Fish calls casino ‘game-changer’ for MA

Says delays reinforce image of state as unfriendly to business

JOHN FISH, the developer chosen by Wynn Resorts to build the company’s $1.7 billion Everett casino, said on Wednesday that the ongoing delays in building the facility are reinforcing an image of Boston as an area hostile to business.

“At the end of the day, this is a political issue,” Fish said after a press conference in Everett focused on a Somerville legal challenge to the casino. The challenge from Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone is expected to delay the casino project for at least six months to a year, and it comes on the heels of a hard-fought challenge to the project by Boston Mayor Marty Walsh.

“What we need to understand is the message we are signaling to the local, national, and international business community about investing in our community and how difficult that is. We’ve got a reputation for that. We’ve done everything we possibly can to sort of quiet that down. I think this continues to reinforce that, and we need to get away from that,” said Fish, the CEO of Suffolk Construction.

Asked if his concerns about Curtatone’s legal challenge also applied to the earlier challenges brought by his close political ally Walsh, Fish said his concerns applied to the entire state of Massachusetts. “We need to become a business-friendly environment,” he said. “We need to abide by the rules and regulations, but at the end of the day we are a global entity right now. People really respect Boston. We need to identify some of the rules and regulations we’ve had in the past and look at them and see if they are needed going forward.”

Fish, who led the unsuccessful effort to bring the 2024 Olympics to Boston, said the Wynn casino in Everett has the potential to have a huge positive impact on the region.

“Wynn Everett is a game-changer for our community. It will be the crown jewel for this region,” Fish said. “It’s not just about gaming. It’s about a world class destination facility that will attract national and international business. It will allow us to leverage the billions and billions of dollars that we’ve put in Logan Airport and all of the other areas over the last decade to insure we are a people and business-friendly community.”

Fish said the hotel/casino project is an opportunity “to showcase ourselves, to tell who we are and what our culture stands for and what it means to be somebody from Massachusetts.”

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Bruce Mohl

Editor, CommonWealth

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

He added: “Wynn Everett will be a powerful economic engine for this entire region, probably one of the most powerful that will exist. It will have sustainable impacts on GDP, creating over 4,000 construction jobs and creating over 4,000 permanent jobs. We’re here because the type of jobs this will create are working class jobs, working class jobs for a community that has what we call a problem with the hollowing out of the middle class. It’s something that we need desperately here in Massachusetts.”

Fish said the project should move forward quickly because delays only hurt the image of the state. “We must embrace the opportunity that’s staring us in the face today. We cannot afford the country, the world, to look at Boston as a business unfriendly environment,” he said.

  • Beeker

    He added: “Wynn Everett will be a powerful economic engine for this entire region, probably one of the most powerful that will exist. It will have sustainable impacts on GDP, creating over 4,000 construction jobs and creating over 4,000 permanent jobs.
    While that applies to one casino, however you have five casinos planned across the state. So far, one of them is not making money. At this point, the market is saturated when you take into account of other states adding them. Even the MGM noted this, when they submitted their proposal for the Springfield project to the Mass Gaming Commission. Many of these companies used assumptions built in rest on the number of customers they will bring ignoring the hyper competition among the facilities when it is fully phased in.