Casino mogul Steve Wynn on Thursday evening told a gathering of more than 2,000 real estate developers and other professionals that he is confident his planned casino on the waterfront in Everett will became a major economic engine in Massachusetts, while also taking the opportunity to gently chide those who could slow him down.
Wynn spend most of his twenty-minute speech reminiscing about his family roots — both his parents were from Revere — and promoting his plans to build a $1.75 billion casino resort.
But he also made several references to “the mayor of Boston” — Martin J. Walsh — who last week filed a lawsuit on behalf of the city that, if successful, would block Wynn’s plans.
“You do good and you might expect a little acknowledgment,” a smiling Wynn said, after making note of Walsh’s lawsuit. “I didn’t expect a parade. But a nice little fruit basket would have been nice.”
Wynn said he expected a robust turnout at an Everett casino, which would be the first Las Vegas-styled facility in the state.
“I hope the mayor doesn’t slow us down,” he added, still smiling.
Wynn, the chairman and chief executive of Wynn Resorts, which for decades has operated highly successful resort casinos in Las Vegas and in Macau, was the featured speaker at Colliers International’s annual presentation on real estate trends in Boston and Massachusetts.
He missed no chance to pitch his product and the impact it could have locally.
“We will be the fifth largest employer in Massachusetts history,” Wynn said, citing the 10,000 to 15,000 new jobs he said a new casino directly or indirectly creates.
He also said a casino would generate $50 million a month in new revenue for the state government and generate another $50 million a month in new economic activity spun off from the facility.
Wynn’s proposal, approved by the state Gaming Commission last September, is the subject of three lawsuits. The lawsuit filed by the cities of Revere, Somerville, and Boston ask a court to find that the commission’s process for awarding the Greater Boston casino license was flawed and the that license should be voided.
Walsh has argued that Boston should have a chance to vote in a referendum on a casino in Everett as a “host community” because traffic to the facility would go primarily through Boston.
Wynn said the process of winning the license was certainly expensive: he spent $25 million on preparing the application alone. And it was comprehensive, he said.
“The application itself weighed 1,800 pounds,” he said.