What To Expect When Wynn Boston Harbor Opens

The opening of the $2.4 billion Wynn Boston Harbor Casino in Massachusetts is still a year and a half away, but the property is beginning to take shape. Located on the banks of the Mystic River in Everett, Massachusetts, Wynn Boston Harbor is being touted as America’s first urban five-star gaming resort. As such, visitors should expect to be wowed with the lavish décor and world-class amenities. Here’s a glimpse at what the resort casino will have to offer. A quick history of Wynn Boston Harbor Wynn Resorts owns and operates Wynn Boston Harbor. Even though it will be the last of the three approved Massachusetts commercial casinos to open its doors, Wynn will be the grandest and the most popular. The Wynn project has a few things working in its favor. First, it’s located just outside of Boston proper. As they say, location, location, location. Second, the company is investing a lot of money in its success. The casino will have a final price tag some 2.5-times forthcoming MGM Springfield Casino in western Massachusetts. Wynn Boston Harbor was the most controversial of the three Massachusetts casinos. That is part of the reason it is the last to open. In addition to the usual hullabaloo that accompanies any large scale building project, local lawsuits over revenue sharing and the land Wynn purchased for the property having ties to mobsters stalled the casino’s construction. Despite the casinos travails, it’s been relatively smooth sailing since Wynn broke ground on the project. Wynn Boston Harbor entertainment At this point there are scant details about the casino’s on-site entertainment options. The property will almost certainly boast some type of theater for shows, as well as live music in night clubs, bars, and perhaps the pool area. However, Wynn might scale down some of its entertainment options, considering the casino’s proximity to Boston, and its plethora of theater and entertainment choices. One thing we do know, Wynn Boston Harbor will have a 36,000 square-foot ballroom and meeting space that it will use to host special events like New Year’s Eve parties. Wynn Boston Harbor restaurants Wynn Boston Harbor will boast 13 restaurants, dining options, and bars. In a March 2017 interview with the Everett Independent, Wynn Boston Harbor President Bob DeSalvio gave a few hints at the types of restaurants that visitors will be able to choose from. The cuisines DeSalvio named included:
An oyster bar
An Asian fusion restaurant
An Italian fine dining restaurant
A casual Italian restaurant
A craft brewery But with its opening still 18 months in the future, only a single restaurant has officially been linked to the property. Sinatra Wynn is bringing one of its top restaurant brands to Boston: Sinatra. There is already a Sinatra Restaurant in Wynn Encore Casino in Las Vegas. According to a press release by Wynn Boston Harbor “the Sinatra menu will include many of Ol’ Blue Eyes favorite dishes such as spaghetti and clams and ossobuco.” The décor at Sinatra Wynn Boston Harbor will feature plenty of Sinatra memorabilia, including his Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in “From Here to Eternity” and his Grammy Award for “Strangers in the Night.” Wynn Boston Harbor amenities Hotel and grounds Wynn Boston Harbor includes a 29-story hotel with 671 rooms and suites. The casino will have a 3,000-space, four-story underground parking garage, as well as an additional 800 parking spots offsite. The amenities offered at the five-star property include:
A full service spa
Fitness facility
Outdoor space
An indoor garden
Harbor walk Retail Original plans called for over 56,000 square feet of retail space. After finding high-end tenants proved problematic, that number dropped to just 9,000 square feet. Other than being ultra-high-end, little is known about what kind of stores the retail space will house. The ballroom As noted above, the property will have a 36,000 square-foot multi-use convention space. That will make Wynn Boston Harbor the second-largest convention space in Boston. The ballroom was added late in the process, replacing some of the planned retail locations. DeSalvio explained the change to the Everett Independent in March: In addition to the main room there are also 10 smaller meeting rooms available. Wynn Boston Harbor gaming Gaming is central to any casino, but Wynn properties tend to rely less on gaming than its competitors, preferring non-gaming revenue. That said, the casino will have a 200,000 square-foot casino floor that will house:
2,500 slot machines
150 table games
A 90-plus table poker room Photo by Casimiro PT / Shutterstock.com

Rhode Island Eyes Sports Betting In Wake of SCOTUS Case

Rhode Island State Senator William Conley is paying close attention to the New Jersey sports betting case. The Supreme Court of the United States should have a decision on the case sometime in 2018. In an interview with WPRI, Sen. Conley, the chair of the RI Senate Finance Committee, was asked if online gambling would land on the legislature’s radar should New Jersey prevail in the case. “Absolutely, I do think that the Senate president thinks that that’s something that we should look at seriously, and that it will bring in revenue,” Conley said. He went on to say that such legislation could be passed as early as 2018. What do you mean by online gambling? Before Rhode Islanders get too excited, Conley’s comments aren’t so clear-cut. The brevity of the interview and use of the term “online gambling” in conjunction with the New Jersey sports betting case makes it difficult to discern the context of the interview. It’s unclear if Conley and the interviewer are simply mislabeling the case as an issue of online gambling. It is also possible they are not up to speed on what the case is about and are conflating the two issues. If it’s the former, Conley is open to passing legislation that would allow Rhode Island to offer sports betting online. If it’s the latter, the Senate Finance Committee Chair is open to online gambling and/or sports betting. He is simply unaware that one doesn’t require a New Jersey sports betting win. RI doesn’t need an NJ win to offer online gambling Rhode Island, and any other state in fact, has the authority to legalize online casino and poker games thanks to a 2011 Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel opinion. Four states already used the 2011 OLC opinion to do just that:
Nevada
Delaware
New Jersey
Pennsylvania Additionally, six states used the OLC opinion to legalize online lottery:
Illinois
Georgia
Michigan
Kentucky
New Hampshire
Pennsylvania Is RI a real contender? Rhode Island is on PlayUSA’s not-so-short-list of online gaming contenders. That said, it takes time to get lawmakers up to speed. If Conley’s ambiguous comments are any indication, it would be harried effort to pass anything in 2018. The best-case scenario would be if multiple New England states continue their game of keeping up with the Jones’s, in what has become a hyper-competitive gaming market. Those states are:
Connecticut
Massachusetts
Rhode Island
New Hampshire
Maine Land-based casinos are sprouting up across the region. With saturation pretty much complete, it appears these states are now turning their attention online.
Connecticut has already started legalizing sports betting should New Jersey prevail.
New Hampshire legalized online lottery earlier this year. It also explored online gambling.
Massachusetts is already looking into online gaming and online lottery.

MGM Springfield Taking A Page Out Of The Patriots’ Playbook

As more details emerge courtesy of Mass Live, the full extent of the MGM Springfield project is starting to come into focus. Far from being another casino, the project seems to be following in the footsteps of another famous Massachusetts landmark, Gillette Stadium and Patriot Place. Patriot Place is the shopping and entertainment center that surrounds Gillette Stadium, the home of the NFL’s New England Patriots. It has transformed the landscape of Foxboro, Massachusetts. How Robert Kraft kept the Patriots in New England In the early 1990’s the Patriots’ franchise was a laughing stock. The team was constantly on the chopping block. Moreover, many believed the team’s days in Foxboro were numbered. Foxboro had served the franchise well over the years, but in the modern NFL ,the trend was huge new stadiums in big population centers. But there was one thing holding up the sale of the Patriots, Robert Kraft. Kraft owned the stadium the team called home, Foxboro Stadium. Additionally, he had a multiyear ironclad lease with the team that he refused to renegotiate with interested buyers keen on moving the Patriots out of town. After blocking a couple of sales, Robert Kraft was able to buy the floundering New England Patriots franchise in 1994. Unlike other interested parties, Kraft only mildly flirted with the idea of leaving Foxboro. The astute businessman was able to see what others could not. He saw beyond the isolated location, the dirt parking lots, and the aged stadium where one of the worst franchises in football history played its home games to non-sellout crowds. What Kraft created in Foxboro is nothing short of astounding. Kraft’s grand vision The land that kept the Patriots from moving out of town now houses the modern Gillette Stadium, which opened in 2002. The area surrounding it has since morphed into a mega shopping and entertainment complex known as Patriot Place. Since the first shops opened in 2007, Patriot Place has grown at a torrid pace. It includes among other things:
Patriots Hall of Fame
CBS Scene restaurant
1.3 million square feet of retail space with over 20 dining options
The four-star Renaissance Hotel
A 14-screen movie theater Other entertainment options include a bowling alley, escape rooms, and a paint bar. Unlike other sports stadiums, Patriot Place is hopping seven days a week. Circling back to MGM Springfield, MGM Resorts seems to be taking a page out of Kraft’s playbook. Yes, they’re building a casino, but like Kraft’s stadium, it’s going to be so much more than that. MGM Springfield is much more than a casino Unlike most casinos, MGM Springfield will be working hand-in-hand with the city to help rehab and reinvent Springfield as a destination. The casino is impressive in its own right, boasting:
3,000 slot machines
100 table games
250-room, four-star boutique hotel
Eight restaurants, dining options, and bars
26,000 square feet of retail space
Entertainment options, including a bowling alley and cinema
A 3,375-space attached parking garage Here’s a look at some of the non-traditional aspects of the project Mass Live revealed in the article. Casino training program The Massachusetts Casino Career Training Institute is a joint project by MGM Springfield, Springfield Technical Community College, and Holyoke Community College that will train dealers, croupiers, and table games employees. The Institute will open on Feb. 26 at 95 State St. in Springfield. Commitment to market-rate housing MGM Springfield purchased multiple, unused buildings from the city, including the former Armory building that will be an architectural focal point on the Main St. entrance. Another building purchased by MGM was a rundown building at 31 Elm St. The plan is to work with the city and private developers to turn the building into 40 units of market-rate housing. According to MassLive, MGM Springfield would contribute $11 million toward the estimated $40 million cost of redeveloping the site. MGM also purchased the former School Department building on State St. to build even more market-rate housing. Off-site entertainment MGM Springfield plans on hosting both on-site and off-site entertainment, utilizing several Springfield venues including, MassMutual Center, CityStage, and Symphony Hall. Outdoor public use areas In addition to the armory, the Main St. entrance area will be a focal point for residents and visitors. The plaza area will be used for holiday displays, as well as a community ice rink. Springfield trolley line One of the most interesting proposals is MGM’s ongoing discussions with the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission about creating a trolley system in downtown Springfield. The current proposal would seed a trolley line connect MGM Springfield with other Springfield attractions, such as the five-museum Quadrangle and the Basketball Hall of Fame. The line could also be extended to include a stop at Forest Park, home to one of the most popular holiday light displays in the state. Photo by Richard Cavalleri / Shutterstock.com

Rhode Island Sees Legalized Sports Betting On The Horizon

The Supreme Court of the United States heard oral arguments in the New Jersey sports betting case back in December. The court could issue its ruling as soon as March or as late as June. Nonetheless, a growing number of states are already preparing in the event of a favorable ruling. Rhode Island is one of several states that seem to believe the outcome of the case is a foregone conclusion. The state appears to be fast-tracking sports betting legislation. It’s widely believed that New Jersey is a favorite to prevail. That is an outcome that could open up legal sports betting across the US. However, it’s not the lock some would like you to believe. Where there’s smoke there’s fire The first inkling that sports betting was on Rhode Island’s radar occurred during a local television interview with State Senator William Conley in December. “Absolutely, I do think that the Senate president thinks that that’s [sports betting/online gambling] something that we should look at seriously, and that it will bring in revenue,” Conley said. GoLocal later reported that Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo already conducted polling on sports betting/online gambling: Latest developments And now, Rhode Island has a sports betting bill, and a Governor that seems very open to the idea. Five members of the Rhode Island State Senate introduced a bill, S 2045, that would authorize sports betting at the Twin River and Tiverton casinos. According to the Providence Journal, a voter referendum would not be needed if sports betting is limited to the state’s existing gaming establishments. The bill summary reads: In addition to the bill, Raimondo has gone so far as to include $23.5 million of nonessential revenue from sports betting in her budget. Rhode Island’s budget woes As Play MA has reported, Rhode Island is facing a $60 million shortfall for the current fiscal year. Additionally, the deficit is projected to jump to more than $230 million in the upcoming fiscal year. Revenue from sports betting, and possibly online gambling, would go a long way towards plugging the budget shortfall.

Rhode Island To Add Another Gambling Bill To Its Agenda

Previous reports have Rhode Island looking into sports betting and possibly online gaming in 2018. We can now add online lottery to the mix too. According to the Providence Journal, Rhode Island State Representative Charlene Lima plans to introduce a bill on Thursday that would authorize the lottery to sell instant win tickets online. Per the Providence Journal, Lima remarked: What the lottery bill might authorize At this time, no details of the bill have emerged. However, Lima told the Providence Journal the bill is modeled on the online lottery legislation passed in New Hampshire in 2017. If Lima’s forthcoming bill is based on New Hampshire’s legislation, it would allow the sale of instant win games as well as draw games both online and through mobile apps. Some of the other provisions in the New Hampshire law that could find their way into Rhode Island’s bill are:
Age verification, including in-person registration at a brick and mortar lottery retailer.
Only those physically located within the state’s borders can purchase online lottery tickets.
The setting of daily, weekly, and monthly wager limits.
The creation of a voluntary self-exclusion program for players. A couple unanswered questions Is Rhode Island ready to debate the issue? The legislation will likely have an uphill climb in the legislature, at least in 2018. Online lottery is a new issue for the state. That means lawmakers and state officials will need to be brought up to speed on a number fronts:
Technology to offer and regulate the games
Researching other online lottery markets
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