scorecardresearch Skip to main content

What happened at the casino hearings?

Shown are the proposals for Wynn in Everett and Mohegan in Revere.

Wynn Resorts has won the state’s blessing to build a massive new casino in a former industrial area of Everett, beating out a Mohegan Resorts plan for Revere after a lengthy application process.

Over the course of the past week, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission considered the two Boston-area applicants’ lengthy and complex applications.

Their decision was issued Tuesday, but throughout the process the regulatory panel had offered many clues about its preference for the Everett proposal, ranking the projects in terms of how commissioners believed each would protect the environment, fit into their communities, and affect the economy.

The days before the decision were tense, as commissioners laid out the proposed conditions that the companies would have to meet if awarded a license.


Some of those, including the possibility that Wynn would have to pay up to $20 million toward penalties on traffic above set targets in Sullivan Square, led to significant debate.


There were five categories for the evaluations, which were based on the commission’s review of the answers to 197 questions presented to each applicant. The potential findings are as follows: insufficient, sufficient, very good, and outstanding.

Building and site design

Applicant Finding Explanation
Mohegan Sun Sufficient/Very good A review found that a low-rise, curved glass structure was “a creative design that recognizes its place within its surroundings.”
Wynn Sufficient An official described the Wynn high-rise design concept as "generic," lacking the imagination of other Wynn projects in Las Vegas and China.


Applicant Finding Explanation
Mohegan Sun Sufficient A commissioner determined that Mohegan has the finances to carry out its project, but said the plan was very complex, which could limit flexibility.
Wynn Very good/ Outstanding The state said Wynn "demonstrated the necessary financial capability to develop and operate its proposed complex."

Economic development

Applicant Finding Explanation
Mohegan Sun Sufficient/ Very good The commission cited Mohegan as having "identified the significant economic benefits a gaming facility could have" on the host community, as well as a "demonstrated understanding of workforce development needs and employee career pathways."
Wynn Very good The commission noted the Wynn resort proposes to create 3,287 jobs with an annual payroll of $186.4 million, and also noted "significant economic benefits" for the community.


Applicant Finding Explanation
Mohegan Sun Sufficient/ Very good Mohegan was cited by the commission for taking a "serious, proactive approach with extensive public outreach," as well as committing to numerous transportation improvements.
Wynn Insufficient/ Sufficient While the commission noted that the Wynn proposal had the "highest percentage vote of any Host Community referendum," officials noted that proposed measures to mitigate the traffic-related impact near Sullivan Square were "inadequate and incomplete."


Applicant Finding Explanation
Mohegan Sun Pending Mohegan tied with Wynn on three out of eight categories that went into this rating. The final determination will come later this week
Wynn Pending Wynn won five out of eight categories here, and tied with Mohegan on the other three.

Mark Arsenault of the Globe staff contributed to this article. Andy Rosen can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @andyrosen.