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Wynn Everett Casino Project Put On Hold Indefinitely

Wynn Casino EverettWynn Everett has announced that its $1.7 billion casino project in Everett, Massachusetts has been put on hold indefinitely as a result of the legal appeal filed by Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone. Wynn Everett President Robert DeSalvio has said that despite the opposition they are committed to the project.

In a statement, Robert DeSalvio President Wynn Everett said,

Unfortunately, construction is effectively on hold because of the appeal. But I want to be clear: We are not going anywhere. We will build this project.

Designed to be built on a 33.9-acre site overlooking the Mystic River, the $1.7 billion project is expected to feature gambling halls, a luxury hotel, a spa as well as retail and dining operations. The groundbreaking ceremony for the casino scheduled for April has also been cancelled.

WCVB Channel 5 Boston

Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone has been fiercely opposed to the project and this appeal is his fifth legal action against the proposed casino. In the latest challenge, Curtatone has appealed against the state Department of Environmental Protection’s decision to approve a waterfront development permit to Wynn.

Curtatone said that by these legal challenges, the city of Somerville is seeking to raise health and quality of life issues arising from the project. According to him, additional traffic caused by an estimated 18,000 people per day driving to the casino will harm the city and the health of its residents, saying that exposure to increased levels of vehicle exhaust can cause higher rates of asthma, lung cancer and heart disease. He stated the people belonging to the nearby communities were not being protected from the ill-effects of the project.

Wynn has said that the city’s opposition to the casino project would result in harming the creation of job opportunities in the area and also impact the scheduled fees and tax revenues due to the state and other communities which is estimated to be around $242 million. The appeal process is likely to take six months to one year.

Wynn Everett has been engaged in many legal battles initiated by surrounding communities ever since it won the license in 2014. Prior to this fresh lawsuit, the biggest opposition came from the city of Boston and Mayor Walsh who eventually settled with the Wynn Resorts after it consented to increase the compensation amount. Wynn agreed to give $6 million more than what was initially fixed to the city of Boston.

Job fairs scheduled in surrounding cities of Somerville, Boston, Chelsea, Malden, Cambridge and Everett have also been cancelled. The company has decided to issue a hiring freeze on operation and construction jobs for the Everett casino project.

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