'Be careful about drawing too many conclusions' on MGM-Wynn Boston Harbor, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker says
Gintautas Dumcius | MassLive.com, Springfield, Mass. | April 16, 2018 3:47pm
April 13--As MGM declined to deny reports of their potential interest in buying the $2.4 billion Wynn Boston Harbor casino, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said people shouldn't be jumping to conclusions about what that could mean for MGM's Springfield casino.
"There are so many rumors out there right now about what's going on with Wynn and MGM and Mohegan Sun and the Gaming Commission and all the rest, that I think we should all be careful about drawing too many conclusions about where this is or where it's going," Baker said during an appearance at the State House in Boston.
State law says no company can own more than one Massachusetts casino license, meaning that if MGM, which is building a $960 million casino in downtown Springfield, acquires the Wynn Boston Harbor casino in Everett, the company would have to make moves to give up one of the two licenses.
The reports come as MGM Springfield readies for a September 2018 opening.
Asked about the reports, the governor pointed to the independent Gaming Commission, the five-member panel tasked with overseeing the nascent expanded gambling industry in Massachusetts.
The Gaming Commission is investigating Wynn Resorts after Steve Wynn was accused of a pattern of sexual misconduct through an extensive Wall Street Journal report.
Steve Wynn denied the allegations and stepped away from the company, while the commission continues to probe what company executives knew about the allegations. Gaming Commission chairman Steve Crosby recently warned Wynn Resorts executives that they are proceeding on an "at-risk" basis with the Wynn Boston Harbor project.
"You know, this is all the purview of the Gaming Commission," Baker said Friday. "So they have far more information about what's currently going on in those discussions than any of us do."
Baker added: "I think most of us are confident that the Gaming Commission will complete the appropriate investigation that they began when the first allegations about Steve Wynn came up and that they will do what they believe is ultimately consistent with the law and the best interests of the Commonwealth."
The investigation could wrap up by this summer, and company executives have said Wynn Boston Harbor remains on track to open in June 2019.
Earlier on Friday, a Gaming Commission spokeswoman declined comment when asked about the MGM-Wynn Boston Harbor reports.
Massachusetts state Rep. Carlos Gonzalez, a Democrat who represents Springfield in the state Legislature, said he is seeking clarity from MGM.
"It was troubling to hear the rumor, but again, at this moment it is a rumor, and we hope that some further discussions can really take place that can benefit all of Massachusetts," Gonzalez told MassLive. "My main concern is Springfield and I hope that MGM stays strong to their word in Springfield."
This post was updated with a comment from Rep. Gonzalez.