Casino Mogul Steve Wynn: ‘Nobody Likes Being Around Poor People’
Casino mogul Steve Wynn, who plans to build a $2 billion casino in Everett, reportedly had some less-than-savory things to say about the have-nots in a recent call with investors.
According to a transcript of the conference call by Seeking Alpha, Wynn compared his casinos to designers Chanel and Louis Vuitton, catering “to the top-end.”
“But unlike Chanel and Louis Vuitton, we are able in our business to cater to all of the market by making our standard so high that everybody wants to be in the building,” Wynn said. “Or to put it in a more colloquial way, rich people only like being around rich people. Nobody likes being around poor people, especially poor people.”
The median household income in Everett is roughly $51,000, according to 2010 Census data, about $17,000 less than the statewide median household income. Nearly 14 percent of residents live below the poverty line.
In the conference call, Wynn said he didn’t know where Everett was until he received a call from Mayor Carlo DeMaria, Jr., who “was dying to have us come.”
“Mr. Wynn’s comment was made in the context of a discussion that the company creates luxurious resorts which have an aspirational appeal to a broad range of guests,” said Wynn senior vice president Michael Weaver in a statement.
Wynn’s plans had long been ensnared by environmental concerns raised by Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone, resulting in a bitter war of words. The “Wynn: Boston Harbor” remains on hold, as the City of Somerville sues Wynn for an environmental permit.