Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Wynner Take All

The loser is you, citizen of Ma$$achu$etts!

"Wynn eyes sale of Encore casino" by Mark Arsenault Globe Staff, May 17, 2019

The chief executives of casino giants Wynn Resorts and MGM Resorts are discussing a possible sale of Wynn’s nearly finished Encore Boston Harbor casino complex in Everett, a potentially colossal deal that would dramatically change the gambling landscape in New England and ripple through the industry, the companies acknowledged to the Globe on Friday.

Wynn Resorts CEO Matt Maddox and MGM CEO Jim Murren met in person in Las Vegas earlier in May to discuss a possible transaction, just weeks before the June 23 scheduled opening of the $2.6 billion Encore, according to two people briefed on the talks. The meeting also came days after the Massachusetts Gaming Commission concluded a 15-month investigation into how Wynn Resorts handled accusations of sexual misconduct by its founder and former chief executive, Steve Wynn.

The two companies confirmed the talks in a statement after each was pressed separately by the Globe.....


I gue$$ they can't Wynn for losing (they were talking sale over a year ago? Then what is the surprise?):

"Why would Wynn consider selling its Everett casino when it’s so close to opening?" by Mark Arsenault and Joshua Miller Globe Staff, May 20, 2019

After eight years of regulatory hurdles, record fines, and damaging fallout from a sexual misconduct scandal, Wynn Resorts has finally reached the 1-yard line, only five weeks away from opening its $2.6 billion casino resort along the banks of the Mystic River in Everett.

So why on Earth would they punt now?

The high-stakes mystery and stunning news has sent waves of concern through political circles, as flummoxed policy makers try to make sense of Wynn’s motivations and what a blockbuster sale might mean.

“I have no clue, absolutely no clue,” said former state senator Stanley C. Rosenberg, a key author of the state’s gaming law, on why Wynn Resorts would consider selling so soon after state regulators allowed it to retain its license. “This is not going to be a slam-dunk by any means. This isn’t a Monopoly game.”

Industry experts were also mystified.

“Makes no sense at all,” said Alan R. Woinski, a New Jersey casino consultant and president of Gaming USA. “I don’t know why they would even entertain it.”

A sale would have been easier to understand a few months ago, he said.

Privately, Wynn officials have been baffled and increasingly frustrated by their treatment in Massachusetts. They spent billions to clean up a heavily polluted property and build what they describe as the largest single-phased private development in state history, poised to become one of the state’s largest employers. They don’t receive any enticing state tax breaks, and in fact will pay 25 percent of all gambling revenue in state taxes.

Yet few elected officials ever offer public support for the company, and the Gaming Commission sharply criticized Wynn chief executive Matt Maddox in its recent decision, even requiring him to get executive coaching.

“They have not had a very happy experience in Massachusetts on the regulatory front,” said Frank Fantini, publisher of Fantini’s Gaming Report.

He mu$t be kidding!

A sale faces any number of roadblocks. A primary complication for MGM is what to do about MGM Springfield. By law, no company can hold two Massachusetts casino licenses.

That would make the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe and Matt Schlapp happy.

“They can try to divest Springfield, but right now Springfield is not a roaring success,” Fantini said. Gambling revenue has been far lower than expected, though company officials say it will improve with time and marketing.

After they went all in, too.

State House majority leader Ronald Mariano, who has witnessed decades of debate over casino gaming, lamented the latest twist. The Wynn-MGM talks could complicate the Legislature’s efforts to legalize gambling on sports, which is already legal in Rhode Island and several other states, he said.

“We’re trying to move ahead on sports betting and keep the casinos competitive,” he said. “This uncertainty doesn’t make it any easier.”

RelatedBeacon Hill lawmakers drag their feet on sports betting

So which one of you is lying?

Speaker Robert A. DeLeo, another key author of the state’s casino law, called news of the talks “somewhat of a surprise in terms of timing” but said a company wanting to transfer its gaming license is something policy makers planned for.....

He must not read the Globe then!


The mayor of Everett says it is “not going to happen,” and he is “not going to be pushed around.”

"‘Everyone is going to know Everett’: The public reacts to casino decision" by Danny McDonald and Andrew Stanton Globe Staff and Globe Correspondent, April 30, 2019

EVERETT — As the casino rose over this city just north of Boston, a question still loomed: Would Wynn Resorts get to keep its gaming license?

Everett got its answer Tuesday when the Massachusetts Gaming Commission allowed the company to retain its license for the $2.6 billion resort casino along the Mystic River.

The decision came after more than a year of uncertainty for the casino, even as crews continued to build the 27-story structure that can be seen from Interstate 93.

Around Everett, local politicians and residents said they were pleased that the gaming commission deemed the Las Vegas-based company suitable to keep its casino license. The Encore Boston Harbor is expected to bring in more than 5,000 jobs, along with hundreds of millions of dollars in payments to Everett and neighboring municipalities, to state government through gambling taxes, and to private vendors who provide supplies and services to the casino.

Prepare yourself for a disappointment if pot is any indication.

Alfred Lattanzi, a 68-year-old lifelong Everett resident and businessman, called the announcement “the right decision.” He said the casino project revitalized what had been a blighted property in the city.

In front of the Target at the Gateway Center, a shopping plaza near the casino, Linda Tran, a 25-year-old city resident, said the project was “annoying because of the traffic,” but added, “I think my house is going to go up in value a lot.”

The traffic is only going to get much worse.

Are you tired of being lied to by authorities and their mouthpiece pre$$ yet?

Myra Montoya, a 24-year-old from Chelsea, also was troubled by the traffic implications of the project. Roads are already snarled because of commuters heading to the Bunker Hill area of Charlestown, she said.

“It’s so backed up without the casino,” she said.

She was also concerned about prostitution, which she said was already a significant problem in the area.

Others at the shopping plaza who did not live in Everett spoke glowingly of the casino project.

“It’s good for tourism,” said Michael Austin, a 61-year-old from Dorchester.

Austin thought the $35 million fine was not much for Wynn Resorts. “They’ll never go broke,” he said.

Marcos Montorosa, 23, agreed, calling the fine, “like chump change.”

“They have the money, I think it should be more,” he said.

That's why they are selling!

Montorosa downplayed the employment impact of the casino, questioning how many non-Everett residents would get a crack at jobs. He said the casino will bring “definitely more crime” to the area and also had concerns about prostitution.


Dorchester resident Steven Provost suggested a casino could bring an uptick in crime, but added that it will also bring jobs.

“I’m really for it,” he said.

Did the Globe talk to anyone who wasn't, or did they just not include them in their $elf-$erving, agenda-pu$hing $will?

Lourdes Henriquez, a teacher who declined to say where she lives, thought that concerns about noise and crime were overblown.

“To be honest, I don’t think that it will be that bad,” she said.

And she is a teacher, huh?

Miguel Cua, a 26-year-old chef from East Boston, thought the casino would lead to better policing. He said that people would pay more attention to crime in the neighborhood with the casino open.

“I think it’s good for the area,” he said.....

Yeah, more police $tate is great!


"Wynn Resorts retains license for Everett casino, panel decides" by Mark Arsenault Globe Staff, April 30, 2019

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission ruled Tuesday that Wynn Resorts can retain its state license to open a resort casino in Everett, while imposing a $35 million fine against the gambling giant for the actions of former executives who covered up sexual misconduct accusations against the company’s founder and former CEO, Steve Wynn.

Welcome to Ma$$achu$etts!


"When you spend $2.6 billion on a resort casino, what’s an extra $35 million? That’s the fine Massachusetts regulators hit Wynn Resorts with for the actions of former executives who covered up sexual misconduct accusations against the company’s founder and onetime CEO, Steve Wynn. It’s a lot of money, but the penalty will ultimately be a rounding error, compared with the profits the Everett casino and hotel will produce in the years to come....." 

Will they, or is that just another bull$hit promi$e?

The decision appears to lift a cloud of uncertainty over the company’s $2.6 billion casino, the largest single-phased private development in state history. The company’s Encore Boston Harbor resort is scheduled to open June 23 with a workforce of more than 5,000 people, and is expected to generate hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue.

Yeah, sure it did (keep reading).

Related: "The Encore Boston Harbor, recently cleared to open in late June, is rushing to finish filling 5,500 positions — luring employees from hotels and restaurants, from the airport and convention centers and hospitals, in what is surely one of the biggest hiring sprees in the history of Greater Boston. The hiring rush is causing anxiety among managers across the region, as they lose star players to a shiny new employer offering higher pay and better benefits in a historically tight labor market....." 

That market is also vastly exaggerated.

The ruling follows a protracted investigation that began after the Wall Street Journal in January 2018 detailed sexual misconduct allegations against Steve Wynn, which he denied, and three days of hearings in early April, and it ends widespread speculation about how regulators might respond, which continued even as the trademark curved glass building became a fixture of the skyline.

The fine was far steeper than the $20 million penalty levied against Wynn Resorts by Nevada regulators in February, a record for that state.

“We are confident that we have struck the correct balance and met our legal and ethical burdens,” commission chairwoman Cathy Judd-Stein said in a 54-page written decision, made public at 6:45 p.m.

Hoffman is the chairman of the Cannabis Commission.

The commission found that while “there was a lack of substantial evidence to disrupt the licensee’s suitability status, commissioners were profoundly disturbed by ‘repeated systemic failures and pervasive culture of non-disclosure . . .’ ”

Wynn Resorts chief executive Matthew Maddox will be fined $500,000, according to the decision. Maddox, along with all the company’s current crop of top leaders, is suitable to run a gambling company in Massachusetts, the commission concluded.

The Everett resort is roughly 96 percent done, according to Peter Campot, director of construction.....


"The Massachusetts Gaming Commission’s decision not to pull Wynn’s gambling license was widely expected, but the pain from that $35 million fine will fade quickly once the doors open on June 23 and the money begins pouring in......"

Meaning they were never going to pull the license; the whole review was nothing more than a good old Ma$$achu$etts $hakedown!


What an UGLY building!

Also see:

License in hand, Wynn Resorts poised to open Everett casino in June

What do you mean the opening may be delayed?

"‘I am team Wynn’: Why Elaine Wynn is staying in the casino business" by Mark Arsenault Globe Staff, May 9, 2019

Elaine Wynn is a top company shareholder, with a 9 percent stake worth about $1.3 billion.

Her long career includes a 1999 induction into the American Gaming Association’s Gaming Hall of Fame. She was number nine last year on the Forbes list of “America’s Richest Self-Made Women.” For her accumulated knowledge and mentoring, Wynn has earned a special status among women at the highest levels of US businesses,” said Mellody Hobson, president of Ariel Investments in Chicago and a longtime friend of Wynn.

Wynn, 77, has also been called the Queen of Las Vegas. Now, with the imminent debut of the company’s Encore Boston Harbor resort casino, she is about to become part of the local civic landscape, too.

Maybe not!

On Monday, she was at the Celtics playoff game at TD Garden. The Celtics were bad, but it is a good bet Wynn will be back. She is, in her own words, “a crazed basketball fanatic.” She sits on the board of governors for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, in Springfield.

You may lose that bet!

The Encore Boston Harbor, the first Las Vegas-style casino in Greater Boston, is set to open in about six weeks. It is the largest single-phased private development in state history, a $2.6 billion resort hotel on the Mystic River in Everett, stuffed with more than 3,000 slot machines, an array of table games, event space, 671 hotel rooms and suites, and 15 new bars and restaurants. The Encore will employ some 5,500 people and is expected to draw millions of customers annually, ensuring it will have a strong pull on the cultural gravity of the region.

Yeah, just what I want to ba$e an economy on!

State regulators last month ruled that Wynn Resorts could retain its Massachusetts casino license, though they fined the company $35 million after state investigators found that former executives covered up misconduct allegations against Steve Wynn.

Steve Wynn left the company and sold his Wynn Resorts stock early last year, after The Wall Street Journal reported in January 2018 that he had been accused of a pattern of misconduct. He has denied any nonconsensual sexual relationships.

Elaine Wynn declined to be interviewed for this story but told The New York Times last May, “My mission is to resurrect the integrity of this extraordinary company that is really the capstone of my professional life.”

Sallie Krawcheck, cofounder and CEO of the investment company Ellevest and former chief executive of both Smith Barney and Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, said Elaine Wynn “is, for generations of women, really iconic.”

She must be leading the fight for equal pay, huh?

“She continues to be in the game every day, and she was part of creating a valuable company,” Krawcheck said. “As I look toward extending my career through decades, she’s a great role model and example.”


Elaine Wynn was born in New York City and graduated from George Washington University with a degree in political science. She married Steve Wynn in 1963, when she was 21. They divorced in 1986 and then remarried in 1991. They cofounded Wynn Resorts in 2002, and Elaine Wynn served on the company’s board of directors until 2015. The couple divorced again in 2010, and Steve Wynn married his current wife, Andrea Hissom, in 2011.

Elaine Wynn testified in April before the Gaming Commission because it needed to assess her fitness to hold a position of influence in a casino. Much of the questioning revolved around a $7.5 million settlement Steve Wynn paid in 2005 to a former manicurist at Wynn Resorts who had accused him of rape.

In 2009, during Steve and Elaine Wynn’s second divorce, one of Elaine Wynn’s lawyers received an e-mail from a woman who alleged that Steve Wynn had raped her stepdaughter and had signed a multimillion-dollar settlement with her, state investigators found. Elaine Wynn told investigators that reading that e-mail was “one of the single most upsetting things that’s ever happened to me.”

She said she confronted her husband, who denied the accusation and suggested he had been blackmailed. She said she reported the accusation in 2009 to the company’s general counsel.

Elaine Wynn did not tell the board of directors at the time but later raised the existence of the settlement in litigation with the company in 2016.

The Wall Street Journal revealed the nature of the settlement in 2018.

The Gaming Commission, while affirming Elaine Wynn is suitable to be a major shareholder in the company, said certain aspects of her behavior raised concerns. Her failure to inform the board of directors or state regulators about the rape allegation and settlement was “particularly troubling,” the board wrote in its report. “The various conflicting facts she learned concerning whether the event was consensual and Ms. Wynn’s reaction thereto showed a concerning lack of diligence to further investigate or address an extremely troubling event.”

But she is a role model for women!

The commission concluded, however, that while Wynn could have done more to instigate an investigation into the allegation, she was not legally obligated to do so.....


She looks just like their buildings!

Have fun playing the slots, ladies:

"Casino for sale because Matt Maddox is mad at Massachusetts?" bJoan Vennochi Globe ColumnistMay 20, 2019
“I think they [Wynn Resorts executives] feel that they don’t understand our environment in Massachusetts because it’s different than Las Vegas,” said John Fish, CEO of Suffolk Construction Co., the general contractor for the grandiose casino complex that’s supposed to lure international high rollers to the banks of the Mystic River.

Yeah, the authorities here are ungrateful a$$holes and extortionists.

Yes, it’s different here. The state’s Expanded Gaming Act was signed into law eight long years ago, and so far, one casino and one slots parlor have opened.

Are Massachusetts eccentricities really enough to drive Maddox’s desire to dump a property once promoted as marquee? My bet: It’s also worry about the numbers.

According to Forbes, Wynn Resorts first quarter results showed a 3.7 percent decline in revenue, “caused by shrinking casino revenues from Wynn Macau and Las Vegas properties.” According to thestreet.com, Wynn shares also declined over concerns about the company’s operations in China, due to President Trump’s trade war.

Meanwhile, the fledgling gambling business in Massachusetts is still a work in progress. MGM Springfield’s April revenue showed a 15 percent decline from March. Slots revenue at Plainridge Park casino also dropped 11.8 percent from March.....



"Seniors are among the most loyal customers of casinos, but with limited income, fewer social outlets, and plenty of time on their hands, some older people may also be especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of problem gambling. A state-funded study will seek to gauge the impact of casinos, a relatively recent feature of the Massachusetts landscape, on older residents living nearby. The research is part of a larger effort to track the social and economic effects of gambling in the state, required by lawmakers when they legalized casino gaming in 2011. Many older folks see trips to casinos as harmless outings, but for a segment of the population, gambling can become addictive....."

At least until you run out of money.

What harmful effects are they talking about? 

The elderly wasting their life savings because they are bored?

The Globe has made it sound like a win for everyone!


Turns out he just wants to avoid the boot camp.

Time for Last Call!


MGM folded:

"MGM pulls out of talks with Wynn over sale of Everett casino" by Mark Arsenault and Joshua Miller Globe Staff, May 21, 2019

MGM Resorts said Tuesday that it had pulled out of talks to buy Wynn Resorts’ nearly finished Everett casino, a move that came after several days of sharp blowback following revelations that the company was talking to Wynn about a sale.

Completing the deal would have forced MGM to relinquish the casino license it holds in Western Massachusetts, and presumably sell MGM Springfield, the state’s first resort casino, which opened to great fanfare in August.

“We are committed to our Springfield community and proud of what we have accomplished including thousands of jobs and millions of dollars of revenue for small businesses in the area,” the company said in a statement. “We will always explore ways to deepen our engagement in the Commonwealth. Our discussions regarding the Everett resort were in that spirit.”

The company alluded to concerns over a potential sale raised by public officials, including Governor Charlie Baker, legislators, and the mayors of Springfield and Everett.

“We have noted the anxiety raised by various stakeholders regarding a transaction and this troubles us at MGM,” the company said. “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.”


"Politics, not finances, got in the way of MGM-Wynn deal" by Jon Chesto Globe Staff, May 21, 2019

An investment bank made a compelling financial case on Monday for MGM Resorts’ potential purchase of the $2.6 billion Encore Boston Harbor casino in Everett from its rival, Wynn Resorts.

So much for that idea.

MGM issued a statement Tuesday night saying it was ending discussions with Wynn for the Everett casino, which is set to open next month. MGM will stick with its new Springfield casino instead.

The finances might have worked out with a Wynn deal. The politics proved insurmountable.

In its statement, MGM said its executives were troubled by “the anxiety raised by various stakeholders” regarding the Wynn-MGM discussions and indicated it would end the talks as a result.

MGM could have afforded the steep price tag, and even paid enough for Wynn to reap a modest profit, according to a scenario outlined in a report from Nomura, an investment bank that closely tracks the casino industry.

How could MGM have pulled it off?

You don’t need to look further than MGM’s disappointing revenue numbers at its nine-month old casino in Springfield to know the New England gaming market is getting saturated, but the Greater Boston license represents the region’s grand prize, one that might be worth a premium even with all the competition, but it won’t be MGM’s prize, after all.

Reports of the MGM-Wynn discussions had suddenly cast a shadow over the team in Everett.....



From left: Rashi School honorees Michael and Dena Rashes; honorary chairs Sheldon Adelson and Dr. Miriam Adelson, Barry Shrage, and Roberta and Irwin Chafetz. The Rashi School annual dinner was held May 19 at the Seaport Boston Hotel.
From left: Rashi School honorees Michael and Dena Rashes; honorary chairs Sheldon Adelson and Dr. Miriam Adelson, Barry Shrage, and Roberta and Irwin Chafetz. The Rashi School annual dinner was held May 19 at the Seaport Boston Hotel.(Allegro Photography

That was yesterday.

Billionaire Adelson's Health Too 'Dire' for Testimony

If he was too ill to testify, what is he doing at a party three months later?

Must have been a lie, huh?

Also see:

Newton recreational marijuana store gets OK to open

Two women indicted for allegedly running multimillion-dollar marijuana delivery business


US attorney alleges Milton pot seller ran illegal business worth $14m

Marijuana community divided over proposed crackdown on pot dealers

From the looks of things they are really in the weeds now.


John Henry, owner of Red Sox and the Globe, considered buying Everett casino

I suppose the state would have allowed that after the Globe's $elf-$erving and conflict of intere$t coverage!

Amid drama, Encore prepares for June opening

“What we really like about that is that you can go live for eight hours, and then you can stop, because literally, once we open the door to the public, the place will be open 24/7/365 — forever.”

Will it? Casinos never close and exist in perpetuity?

Aquinnah Tribe struggles with Vineyard vision