by Sarah J.F. Braley | September 17, 2014
Wynn MA LLC is the apparent winner in the competition to bring a casino resort to Eastern Massachusetts, the second casino resort license awarded this year by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. The final vote will be taken today at 10 a.m. after Wynn MA LLC informs the commission of whether they will accept a final list of conditions. Aside from the casino, the proposed $1.6 billion property would have a 500-room luxury hotel, several bars and restaurants, a spa, a nightclub and retail outlets; the full design has not been finalized yet. The company is aiming to meet the standards for LEED Platinum certification, the highest sustainability level for a new-build.

The building of any casinos in Massachusetts still is uncertain, however, as an item to repeal the state's 2011 Expanded Gaming Act will be on the ballot in November. This puts years of work by the commission and various entities bidding for licenses in limbo until after the vote. The commission awarded its first of three resort licenses, for the state's western region, in June to an $800 million Springfield project led by MGM; the license now will become valid the day after the vote, if the law is upheld. The third license, for southeastern Massachusetts, will be awarded in September 2015. A group called Repeal the Casino Deal gathered signatures on a petition to place the issue on the ballot. As the 2011 Expanded Gaming Act was created by the state legislature, the vote in November will be the first time the citizens of Massachusetts will have their say on the law. The good news for the commission and the licensees: A UMass Lowell/7News poll released earlier this month shows that 59 percent of the 1,624 people surveyed still support the law.