Wynn Wins, We Lose

Wynn Casino Boston Harbor

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — “The award of a gaming license,” the state Gaming Commission writes in its ruling preserving the former Wynn Resorts as the licensee of the only Boston-area casino, “was never intended to be anything short of a peerless privilege.”

But in Wynn, now known as Encore after erasing all visible signs of CEO Steve Wynn in the wake of a sexual harassment scandal, the regulators chose poorly. And yesterday they reacted to their own ineptitude with a cave-in that will be haunting us for some time to come.

In one recent year Wynn Las Vegas made at least $1.25 billion, more than $3.4 million per day. So the state’s “significant penalty” for “numerous violations of controlling statutes and regulations” in which they essentially ignored the allegations against Wynn?

Thirty-five million dollars.

Ten days worth of revenue.

Chump change.

Not even a slap on the wrist – more of a love tap.

The Wynn scandal broke after the Everett project was well along. To pull the license now, with the thing built and thousands of local people hired up, would be an economic and political disaster.

But $35 million?

How about ten times that?

The message to Wynn – excuse me, Encore?

You’ve got us by the short hairs.

And if your business model falters and you come demanding concessions from our rules to enhance your profit margin?

You’ll get that too, because we bet on the wrong horse, and now we’re too deep in hock to the house to do anything about it.

 
Keller @ Large

Keller @ Large

Jon Keller is a WBZ TV & Radio political analyst. Read more

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