Business

Never Mind, MGM Won’t Be Buying Encore Boston Harbor

Wynn Resorts will remain the owner of the new casino, for now.


encore boston harbor casino

Photo via AP Photo/Steven Senne

It looks like the Encore Boston Harbor is still going to be a Wynn.

MGM Resorts, which expressed interest in buying the casino and resort last week, has pulled out of talks with Wynn. The gambling giant faced immediate backlash once word got out that they were looking into the $2.6 billion property.

“We have noted the anxiety raised by various stakeholders regarding a transaction and this troubles us at MGM,” MGM said in a joint statement with Wynn.

“We only wish to have a positive impact on communities in which we operate. We think the best course of action is to discontinue discussions concerning this opportunity.”

Because a company can only own one casino license in Massachusetts, MGM would have had to sell their Springfield resort casino, which opened in August. Encore’s license is the only one the state is allowing in the greater Boston area, making it a hot commodity for casino giants.

“After careful consideration, we have agreed to cease discussions with MGM Resorts,” Wynn said. “We remain committed to opening and operating Encore Boston Harbor as only Wynn Resorts is able to do.”

With a potential sale off the table, Wynn Resorts is now free to concentrate on getting their new Everett location open and running smoothly. The opening is set for June 23, but Wynn CEO Matt Maddox said earlier this month that that date may be pushed back a week or two, according to the Boston Business Journal.

“We’re going to make sure that it’s flawless,” Maddox said. “Clearly the regulatory complexity we’ve been through has been a challenge. And so now we’re doubling back. We may give ourselves another week, we may not.”

 

The talks drew political opposition from state senators, the mayor of Everett, and even the governor himself.

Charlie Baker told the Boston Globe that he had expressed his concerns to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, which gets the last word in deals like this. Baker said he wanted to avoid “significant disruption for either community.”

“Great news,” Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria told the Globe in response to the end of the talks. “Hopefully now we can concentrate on getting it open, keeping all those residents working, and sticking with the plan.”