Wynn suspends casino expansion in dispute over taxes and payments to Everett

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Wynn Resorts has suspended its planned  expansion of the Encore Boston Harbor casino in Everett, saying it can’t come to terms over things like taxes and impact fees with the city of Everett.

Wynn wants to build a new facility across Broadway from the $2.6 billion casino that opened in 2019. The initial expansion planned a dedicated poker room, a second sports betting parlor, a relocated nightclub, a theater, a comedy club, parking garage and more. It had been advancing as the city also works to clear the way for a professional soccer stadium in the same neighborhood.

“We remain optimistic about the project fulfilling the city’s and our shared goal of developing an exciting and vibrant destination district on Lower Broadway with restaurants, hotels, theaters, and other recreational uses. However, it has become apparent that we are unable to negotiate an agreement with the city of Everett regarding property taxes, impact fees, and infrastructure improvements in a timely fashion,” the company said in a statement that replaced the website for the project. “Until these issues are addressed with a financially viable resolution we have a responsibility to our shareholders, and cannot continue to incur project costs.

The news was announced Tuesday during Wynn Resorts’ earnings call and was previously reported by the Boston Herald. On the call, CEO Craig Billings said that the decision was “disappointing” but added that Wynn has “numerous other development projects globally where we can redirect the capital we intended to deploy in Boston.”

In a statement, Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria said he supports the project, but wants to reach the best deal for the residents of his hometown.

This is not the first time the project has been put on hold. In early 2022, Wynn “decided to pause the permitting process for this development so that they can do some reevaluation on whether the development as proposed is the best use for the site,” a Massachusetts Gaming Commission official said at the time.

The expansion was initially proposed without sports betting or poker components, but Wynn changed course and wanted to expand its gambling operation across the street once Massachusetts legalized sports betting later in 2022.

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