Wynn Negotiating Possible Sale of New Boston Property

The US$2.6 Billion Encore Boston Harbor hasn’t even opened its doors yet, but it has emerged that Wynn Resorts—whose license was only quite recently confirmed by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission—is negotiating a possible sale of the facility to MGM Resorts.

MGM’s interest in such an arrangement can hardly be doubted since Encore Boston Harbor, likely to open in June or July, would become a powerful rival to its MGM Springfield facility opened last year. Should MGM control both IRs, it would be positioned to dominate the US Northeast casino market.

Wynn Resort’s possible willingness to give up Encore Boston Harbor is the bigger surprise, especially since it has fought so hard to keep its license and has heavily promoted the project over several years.

It may be, however, that Wynn’s local reputation has been scarred over its handling of the Steve Wynn sexual assault allegations and the Massachusetts Gaming Commission’s scathing criticism of its management of that issue.

There is also speculation that Wynn Resorts is focusing more of its attention abroad, with its IR bid in Japan a big part of that, and a Encore Boston Harbor sale would give it more cash to work with.

Many analysts remain skeptical, however, that a deal is truly in the offing. For example, Bernstein Research’s verdict was that they “do not expect a sale of Encore Boston in the near term (if at all), even in light of discussions.” (AGB Nippon)