Without a labor commitment from Encore Boston Harbor (EBH), a local Massachusetts union said it does not support the casino’s plans for expansion, at least, not right now.
Wynn Resorts, the parent company of EBH, has proposed a multi-use development area near the casino. The plans call for another Category 1 gaming license for the Massachusetts casino and several additions to the surrounding area.
According to Wynn, work could start in 2023, with the new facility opening in 2025.
However, during a hearing with the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC), a labor representative hinted that his group needs more time to support the project.
Labor union needs more time get on board
Speaking during the public comment period, Jamie McNeil, a representative of Unite Here Local 26, said:
“We want the commitment (to hiring diverse employees) to remain as Encore Boston Harbor grows. We look forward to supporting this application, but at this hour we don’t have a labor harmony commitment on all aspects of this applications operations. We cannot provide the MGC or the application with a support letter at this hour.”
Wynn’s plans would add several features, including:
- A poker room
- Sports betting parlor
- Parking garage
Additionally, the casino promised 2,000 construction jobs and 800 permanent jobs once the project was finished. Wynn also said 50% of new hires would be women and is focusing on minorities and veterans to fill out its Massachusetts casino workforce.
Lastly, a Wynn representative reassured the MGC the company has a commitment to a zero net energy building, , according to PlayMA.com.
Mixed bag of support and opposition
Although several people expressed concern over the expansion, there were some who offered support.
Anika Pieres, an assistant director for EBH, said, “if this [new project] offers more opportunities like mine, I am in favor of it.”
The MGC will meet in May to further discuss the proposal.