Hustle up Gaming Commission

It may be time for the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to make up its mind about the suitability of Wynn Resorts to open a casino in Everett because the uncertainty is starting to take a toll.

Wynn CEO Matt Maddox hosted a conference call with financial analysts on Tuesday after the release of the company’s first quarter earnings report. Maddox didn’t mention the firm’s  Massachusetts situation in his opening statement, but it was the first question from the analysts. They wanted to know what was going on.

Maddox said he still loves the Greater Boston market, but he issued an ominous warning. “If there was any risk due to heightened rhetoric that there could be any contagion from Massachusetts into our $30 billion company in Las Vegas and Macau, we will have to take a hard look at what’s best to protect our shareholders and our value,” he said.

The analysts also wanted to know if the rumors were true that the Gaming Commission would wrap up its investigation early this summer. “It’s in the summer,” Maddox said. “I wouldn’t want to speculate early or mid.”

On Wednesday, during a grilling on CNBC, Maddox struck a more upbeat tone on Massachusetts, discounting talk that he might sell the Everett casino. “Boston’s not up for sale,” he said.

At a time when Wynn Resorts is trying to put a lot of distance between the company and Steve Wynn (a Gaming Commission hearing on that issue is scheduled for Friday), Maddox indicated he still talks to his mentor on occasion. “I don’t really talk to him much anymore,” he said. “He has distanced himself from the company.”

Meanwhile, the unsettled status of the Everett casino is having reverberations in Springfield, where MGM is preparing to open its casino this summer. MGM says it is committed to Springfield, but there has been a lot of speculation that Wynn Resorts might sell its facility to MGM, which would require MGM to unload its casino to someone else.

Boston Globe columnist Thomas Farragher said the rumor mill in Springfield is spinning like a roulette wheel. And former Springfield mayor Michael Albano insisted in an op-ed in CommonWealth that MGM has no heart for the city.

“The Massachusetts Gaming Commission should deny any MGM request to sell the Springfield license and purchase Wynn Boston Harbor,” Albano wrote. “The Massachusetts legislation never intended for a bait and switch, or trade-up strategy by casino operators. Springfield, and western Massachusetts, should not be the sacrificial lamb for MGM.”

BRUCE MOHL


BEACON HILL

Support for five new drug recovery centers is picking up support in the House. (Gloucester Times)

The Senate is likely to add more money for regional transportation authorities to a supplemental budget. (MassLive)

The House rejects a budget amendment that would have directed the State Police and Boston Police Department to fashion an agreement over joint patrolling of the Seaport district. (Boston Globe)

Senators are mum on the status of an Ethics Committee report on Sen. Stanley Rosenberg. (State House News)

The Registry of Motor Vehicles finally signed a lease for a new office in Danvers on Route 1. (Salem News)

MUNICIPAL MATTERS

The Quincy City Council considers ordinances that would ban retail pot shops in almost every location of the city. (Patriot Ledger)

Harwich residents are objecting to a plan to build a pet crematory in the town’s new pet cemetery. (Cape Cod Times)

WASHINGTON/NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL

Ronny Jackson withdraws his nomination to be Veterans Affairs secretary in the face of mounting allegations of misconduct. (Washington Post)

A Herald editorial says CNN couldn’t bear to televise French president Emmanuel Macron’s speech yesterday to a joint session of Congress because it would have underscored the fact that he had a successful visit with President Trump.

ELECTIONS

Setti Warren drops out of the race for the Democratic nomination for governor, citing “insurmountable” fundraising hurdles. (Boston Globe) One of Warren’s rivals, Robert Massie, said Warren’s departure from the race because of money issues is “yet another sign that our electoral system is broken.” (MassLive)

Massachusetts Republicans are holding their nominating conventions Saturday in Worcester. (Telegram & Gazette)

With very short notice, Sen. Elizabeth Warren announced yesterday that she will hold a town hall meeting this Saturday in Brockton. (The Enterprise)

BUSINESS/ECONOMY

The median price of condos in Massachusetts is now higher than that of single-family houses. (Boston Globe)

Dorchester Reporter editor Bill Forry offers a toast to local resident Jim Keefe and his development company, Trinity Financial, on the rebuilding of the Treadmark apartment building, which is now past the halfway point less than a year after a devastating fire gutted the the project across from Ashmont Station as it was nearing completion.

EDUCATION

Joan Vennochi says Gov. Charlie Baker needs to step up and doing something about Mt. Ida College, calling the abrupt announcement that the school will close a betrayal of its students and saying “Baker is a party to that betrayal” because UMass is swooping in to buy the Newton campus. (Boston Globe)

Two of the candidates for the UMass Boston chancellor’s job are Joe Aiello, the chairman of the MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board, and Gina McCarthy, the head of the EPA under former president Barack Obama. (MassLive)

The Boston nonprofit EdVestors is setting up a program to redouble math instruction efforts in the Boston Public Schools, where two-thirds of 8th graders are not proficient in the subject. (Boston Herald)

A proposed new school for grades 4 through 7 for the Dennis-Yarmouth Regional School District has revived the debate over how the two towns divide up costs. (Cape Cod Times)

HEALTH/HEALTH CARE

Lowell General Hospital laid off 29 employees. (Lowell Sun)

Hopkinton became the latest town to raise the age to buy tobacco from 18 to 21. (MetroWest Daily News)

TRANSPORTATION

Massport plans to study the feasibility of building a “people mover” to shuttle passengers between terminals, the MBTA’s Blue Line, the car rental center, and Logan Airport parking lots. (Boston Globe)

ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT

Steve Dodge of the Massachusetts Petroleum Institute makes another pitch for additional natural gas pipeline infrastructure. (CommonWealth)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE/COURTS

The US Attorney in New Hampshire, Scott Murray, announced a major fentanyl-related bust and said most of the drugs came from Lawrence. Murray indicted 45 people, 20 of them from Lawrence. (Eagle-Tribune)

A Maine sheriff’s deputy was shot and killed and the suspect, now the subject of a massive manhunt, is a man who was released on bail in Massachusetts two weeks ago on gun charges. (Boston Herald) The suspect’s bail was reduced twice by Massachusetts judges. (Eagle-Tribune)

The Supreme Judicial Court will decide whether a Hingham man committed a crime when he secretly placed GPS tracking devices on a couple’s two cars because he thought the husband was having an affair with his wife. (Patriot Ledger)

A Lowell police video shows a detention attendant slugging a prisoner who the attendant claims spit at him. (Lowell Sun)

A former police officer has been arrested and charged with a series of rapes and murders in the 1970s and 80s in a string of infamous crimes committed by a perpetrator that authorities dubbed the “Golden State Killer.” (New York Times)

MEDIA

Drew Cloud is a self-described reporter on student college debt who is often quoted in newspapers such as the Washington Post and Boston Globe. The problem is he doesn’t really exist. (Chronicle of Higher Education)

Dan Kennedy says President Trump is quietly getting his revenge on the media as his tariffs on Canadian newsprint have jacked up prices 30 percent, forcing many newspapers to make cuts to pay for the cost increases. (Media Nation)

PASSINGS

Lana Jones, a veteran WBZ News radio reporter, died at age 62 at UMass Medical Center. (WBZ-TV)

Bernard Margolis, the widely respected former leader of the Boston Public Library, perhaps best remembered here for standing up to then-mayor Tom Menino, died at age 69 in New York. (Boston Globe)