On Monday, a group led by real estate developer Eugene McCain announced the hiring of Las Vegas-based casino developer and manager, Navegante, to aid its effort to build a slots-only facility in the north Boston, Massachusetts suburb of Revere, reports The Boston Globe.
Larry J. Woolf (pictured) former president and CEO of MGM Grand in Las Vegas, heads up the small consulting firm, which has helped develop and manage casinos throughout the U.S. and Canada. Senior vice president of Navegante, Gary Armentrout, said, “We’re working to craft the message to get out there on the slots parlor question,” and that he believes that the partnership lends credibility to the proposal.
The proposal faces a November ballot referendum known as Question 1, which could see Massachusetts legalize a second slots-only gambling facility. If the measure is approved by voters, the design of the facility, which Armentrout said could include a 500-room hotel, will be overseen by Navegante. McCain’s plan would still require approval from the state Gaming Commission. According to Armentrout, studies indicate that in keeping with the McCain group’s proposal, there is a strong market for a facility with 1,250 machines, according to the news agency.
McCain already has several victories under his belt, including in June when his group collected nearly 100,000 signatures winning the right to have Question 1 placed before voters in November, as well as the collection of almost 5,000 signatures enabling the measure to be brought before Revere voters at a special municipal election to be held October 18.
Recently, MGM Resorts International, which is spending $950 million on its MGM Springfield casino, joined fellow casino operator Wynn Resorts Limited in opposing the upcoming state-wide ballot initiative. The Las Vegas-based company’s president and chief operating officer, Mike Mathis, reportedly told New England Public Radio that he is against the passage of Question 1. Wynn Resorts’ under-construction Boston Harbor development is just three miles from the site of McCain’s proposed slots-only facility.
Meanwhile, MGM Springfield remains on schedule to open in September of 2018, with the both the foundation and the gaming floor for the casino being laid by the construction crew over the past few months.