Wynn issues $50m clarification

Number reflects taxes, other spending

STEVE WYNN HAS been saying his proposed Everett casino will generate $50 million a month for Massachusetts, but aides say that number reflects gaming taxes paid directly to the state plus money spent on employees and other operations.

Michael Weaver, a spokesman for Wynn, said the number was generated to show the financial impact of any delay in opening the proposed casino and hotel. Weaver said the Massachusetts impact number is actually $55 million a month, and includes $21 in direct payments to the state ($18 million in gaming taxes and $3 million in sales and hotel taxes) plus $14 million in payroll expenditures and $21 million in other operating expenses.

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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.

Wynn had referred to the $50 million figure in a mid-January speech at a real estate conference in Boston and in a call earlier this month with financial analysts. During the most recent call, Wynn said: “We’re going to be responsible for $50 million a month in revenue for the state, probably another $50 million in related revenues to all the surrounding communities.”

The $50 million figure had generated some confusion about whether Wynn was suggesting the state of Massachusetts would recover that amount on a monthly basis in just gaming, sales, and hotel taxes. The gaming tax is 25 percent of total gaming revenues, which would have meant the proposed casino’s gaming revenue would have to be in the neighborhood of an astronomical $200 million a month to generate that kind of tax revenue.

Weaver clarified the numbers on Wednesday, saying the numbers were developed to show the impact of any delay in opening. Boston, Somerville, Revere, and Mohegan Sun are all challenging the Massachusetts Gaming Commission’s award of a license to Wynn in court. Weaver noted Mohegan Sun, which operates a casino in Connecticut, stands to benefit financially if Wynn’s opening in 2017 is delayed.