Wynn casino could open a week or two late

CEO says company may appeal Gaming Commission's secondary conditions

This story was updated at 9 p.m.

WYNN RESORTS CEO Matt Maddox told financial analysts on Thursday that the company’s Everett casino and hotel are on schedule to open as planned on June 23, but he indicated the opening could be delayed a week or two to make sure there are no loose ends.

“We’re going to make sure it’s flawless,” Maddox said of the opening. “We may give ourselves another week, maybe not, but the property looks good.”

A press release reporting on financial results for the quarter ending March 31 said “we expect to open Encore Boston Harbor in mid-2019.”

Maddox said 90 percent of the roughly 5,000 employees are either on board or within offer.

The CEO declined to provide any financial projections for the casino, but said Wynn operations typically have more expenses due to higher service levels. He also said regional casinos tend to ramp up more slowly, specifically saying the Everett facility will ramp up to full speed during 2019 and 2020.

Maddox said the company is still reviewing the conditions set by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission for Wynn to retain its casino license, but all his statements on Thursday’s phone call with analysts indicated he intends to agree to at least the major concessions. The Gaming Commission conditions include a $35 million company fine and a $500,000 assessment on Maddox.

“We are ready to move forward with the opening of Encore Boston Harbor,” Maddox said. “However, we are still reviewing the decision as it relates to some of the secondary and tertiary conditions imposed by the commission.  We do not believe if we choose to appeal that that will impact our ability to open the project at the end of June. The regulatory process has consumed a great deal of resources at both the company and with the regulators;  we are focused on opening this property within weeks and we feel very confident that it will be the nicest integrated resort on the East Coast.”

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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.

 

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission ruling required the company to hire an executive coach to help Maddox in several areas. Wynn Resorts would also need to hire an independent monitor selected by the commission. The monitor would need to stay on for at least three years and the company would need to adhere to the monitor’s recommendations on human resource policy, the use of non-disparagement agreements, internal reporting, and the hiring of outside counsel.