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Chris Sieroty

Wynn Resorts suspends plans for $1 billion Foxborough casino

8 May 2012

Wynn Resorts Ltd. announced Tuesday that it is suspending plans to build a $1 billion resort and casino adjacent to Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass, in the wake of the election of two anti-gaming candidates to the town council.

"For the past six month, Wynn Resorts has sought to communicate the benefits of a proposed destination resort in Foxborough," the Las Vegas-based gaming company said in a statement. "Yesterday's election demonstrates the community's will and Wynn Resorts respects the outcome."

Wynn Resorts also thanked residents "who supported the proposed resort."

"We also would like to extend our gratitude to Robert Kraft and The Kraft Group for the introduction to the Town of Foxborough and support in this project," Wynn Resorts said.

Wynn Resorts decision to pull out paves the way for the Suffolk Downs casino-resort proposal, which is being proposed by Caesars Entertainment Corp., as the leading contender for the one license to be granted to a developer in eastern Massachusetts.

The two candidates -- Virginia Coppola and Lorraine Brue - won late Tuesday in an election that drew nearly 60 percent voter turnout.

Coppola and Brue's win increased the anti-casino forces among the Foxborough selectmen board from 3-2 to 4-1. Bill Lerner, an analyst with Union Gaming Research in Las Vegas, said there were four candidates, who were evenly split on the issue, running for two seats.

Under the state's gaming laws, a majority of selectmen would have had to vote in favor of entering negotiations with Wynn Resorts and Bob Kraft's The Kraft Group.

"When the Commonwealth of Massachusetts pass gaming legislation, we brought forth an opportunity with the unquestioned premier developer and operator in the industry," The Kraft Group said in a statement. "We have great respect for Steve Wynn, his team and his business model, and believe this unique opportunity was worthy of a chance to be heard."

The Kraft Group acknowledged Monday's election was a vote against the project.

"With that democratic statement, as opposed to the voices of five individuals, we will be suspending our efforts regarding a destination resort development," The Kraft Group said.

Shares of Wynn Resorts were off 5.10 percent, or $6.38, to $118.70 in heavy mid-day trading of 3.15 million shares on the Nasdaq. Over the last three months, the gaming company averages 2.4 million shares traded on a daily basis.