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by Matt Alderton | September 18, 2014
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has awarded the state's second casino license, and the only casino license in the Greater Boston area, to Wynn Resorts, Wynn announced this week.

The decision culminates a three-year competition to build Boston's first and only casino. Although the race began with three competitors -- Caesars Entertainment, the Mohegan Sun Tribal Gaming Authority, and Wynn -- only the latter two remained, as Caesars dropped out last year after a conflict with state regulators. Ultimately, Wynn bested Mohegan Sun with its proposal for a $1.6 billion project in the Boston suburb of Everett, MA. Located on 30 acres of land beside the Mystic River, the project will include a five-star resort with more than 500 rooms, high-end retail and dining, and meeting space, including a ballroom.

"The trust that the Massachusetts Gaming Commission has placed in us is very much appreciated and valued by all of us at Wynn," Robert DeSalvio, senior vice president of development for Wynn, said in a statement. "This is an amazing project that will have a significant impact on job creation and economic development. Our top priority now is to complete our pre-construction work as quickly as possible and get shovels in the ground. We can't wait to start building what we know will be a spectacular destination that will draw people from across the globe."

Massachusetts awarded its first casino license in June to MGM Resorts International, which will build an $800 million casino resort in Springfield, Mass. Both the MGM and Wynn projects, as well as a third project that has yet to be awarded on Cape Cod, hinge on voter approval of casino gambling, as a Massachusetts judge ruled this summer that voters have the right to repeal legalized gambling. They will vote on the issue in November.

Construction on Wynn Everett is expected to take three years. Assuming that repeal fails, it will commence as soon as the project completes the state and local permitting process. The earliest it could open is late 2017.