Wynn Resorts is in the process of developing its $2.1 billion Wynn Boston Harbor casino in Everett, Massachusetts and is expected to open the casino in June 2019. According to local media reports, Wynn Resorts is currently funding a statewide campaign against the proposed Question 1 slots parlor which developer Eugene McCain wants to build in Revere.
McCain succeeded in getting his slots parlor proposal before Revere voters earlier this month even though Mayor Brian M. Arrigo objected to the proposal. McCain and his slot parlor investors were initially confident that their proposal would go through as polls showed that two-third of voters were in favor of the slots parlor. As it turned out, nearly two-third of the votes opposed the slots parlor in Revere.
The lack of support has dented McCain’s push to bring the slots parlor proposal before a statewide vote that takes place on November 8. McCain discovered only after the elections were completed that Wynn Resorts had campaigned against the Question 1 slots parlor by spending $39, 000 and hiring the Mayor’s former campaign manager to try and stop the slots parlor from getting approval.
Upon learning that Wynn had financed the no-to-slots campaign Question 1 supporters lashed out at Wynn and Mayor Arrigo by issuing a statement two days after the election using headlines such as ‘Arrigo conspires with secret Wynn political committee’ and ‘Mayor Arrigo colludes with Wynn to pay for attacks against citizens of Revere.’ The Mayor denied all allegations stating that he wasn’t aware that Wynn Resorts was financing the campaign and only found out when local media broke the news.
McCain has revealed that the Question 1 campaign had already spent $1 million in the lead up to the election and is prepared to spend a further $10 million before the November 8 election. However McCain who has experience working in Hawaii and Thailand wasn’t willing to reveal who are the financial backers for the Question 1 slots parlor.
Less than two weeks before the statewide election takes place, Wynn Resorts has admitted to financing the no-slots-parlor campaign and admitted that it will continue to fund the campaign without giving specifics as to how much it was willing to spend. Massachusetts current political and financial laws allow Wynn Resorts to keep its campaign spending confidential until the Nov 8 ballot takes place.
In a statement reported by the Boston Globe, Robert DeSalvio, president of Wynn Boston Harbor said “I don’t think it would be smart to talk strategy now.” DeSalvio also stated that he found it troubling that McCain was continuing to be secretive about the investors behind the Question 1 slots parlor.
Four states were to have voter referendums on casino gambling this year. Casino supported opposition in Arkansas saw the ballot measure there nullified by the State Supreme Court after a successful petition drive. In New Jersey, opposition to expanding casinos beyond Atlantic City, supported heavily by New York casino and union interests has seen support for that measure fall to around 30%. It’s still unclear if Rhode Island voters will allow Twin Rivers Management to move their casino license from Newport to Tiverton.