The Massachusetts Gaming Commission chose Wynn Resorts Ltd’s Everett casino proposal over Mohegan Sun’s casino plans for Suffolk Downs in Revere this afternoon.
Despite traffic concerns in nearby Sullivan Square, the commission approved Wynn’s plan.
The commission approved the Wynn plan by three votes to one inside a teacher’s union hall on Mt Vernon Street in Dorchester. Commissioners Bruce Stebbins, Enrique Zuniga and Gayle Cameron all favored Wynn. Commissioner James F. McHugh favored the Mohegan plan. The commission’s chairman, Stephen P. Crosby recused himself from the vote earlier this year after concerns were raised about his impartiality.
Wynn wants to redevelop about 26 acres of former industrial land along the Mystic River. Their proposal includes environmental cleanup and river dredging.
Wynn’s financial plan, said Zuniga last week, was “very good with outstanding elements, namely the ability to obtain project capital, commitment to spend (materially more) required capital and their view of the potential market opportunity of a (greater Boston) location.”
Zuniga, meanwhile, had assessed Mohegan’s financial plan as “sufficient with one insufficient element, namely their view of the potential market opportunity of a Region A (greater Boston) location.” There were also concerns about the project’s debt ratio. The commission had said it wanted to see evidence of an additional $100 million in equity for the project, Mohegan topped that in an attempt to assuage the financial concerns, saying they will add another $150 million to their plan. It apparently wasn’t enough.
“Wynn’s proposal is stronger in its capital structure,” said Zuniga today.
Last week, the effect of Wynn’s plan on local traffic troubled Commissioner Cameron. She assessed their traffic plan to be “inadequate and incomplete, because the proposed improvements do not fully mitigate the additional traffic.
Wynn, however, had agreed to pay penalties should traffic exceed their projections, so long as the payments were capped at $20 million over 10 years.