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Wynn, NFL owner seek voters’ approval

Wynn Resorts Ltd. founder Steve Wynn and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft say they will move forward with a proposal to build a
$1 billion casino in Foxborough , Mass., only if the town supports the plan.

Both Wynn and Kraft stressed the project would create 10,000 construction jobs and 7,000 permanent jobs with an average salary of $40,000, the Boston Herald reported Monday.

Under the proposal, Wynn would lease land across from Gillette Stadium to build his casino. Wynn said he and Kraft would seek a local vote within 90 to 120 days, and he plans to release a rendering of the proposed casino, the Herald reported.

The proposal must win two-thirds approval from voters in Foxborough , and a license from the newly created State Gaming Commission.

Wynn’s appearance at Sunday’s Patriots game came just two weeks after Gov. Deval Patrick signed legislation authorizing three casinos and a slots parlor in his state.

Based in Las Vegas, Wynn Resorts owns and operates Wynn Las Vegas, Encore and Wynn Macau. The gaming company also plans to build a second multi billion dollar resort on Macau’s Cotai Strip.

Wynn said he first approached Kraft about seven months ago and Sunday’s meeting was only the third between them to discuss the proposal.

Kraft declined comment on whether he had approached the National Football League or its owners about his plans, but during a news conference Monday at Gillette Stadium he suggested his agreement with Wynn would not violate league rules prohibiting franchises from owning or operating casinos.

“We are not involved in this project,” Kraft told the Boston Globe.

Wynn said the project would be nothing like those in Las Vegas. For example, Wynn Las Vegas cost $2.7 billion to build and includes a 45-story hotel, with 2,716 hotel rooms, restaurants and a casino spread out over 215 acres on the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Sands Avenue.

“Nothing we’ve done in the past fits unless it’s Massachusetts style,” Wynn said. “I don’t think that means the Connecticut Indian casinos either.”

In November , Wynn met with Miami Beach Mayor Herrera Bower and city manager Jorge Gonzalez to discuss a casino development project on a 50-acre city-owned parcel. Any expansion of casino development in South Florida would require a vote of Florida state lawmakers.

Native American tribes currently operate gaming properties in Florida.

“There are some very pregnant opportunities that are presenting themselves in Massachusetts and Florida,” Wynn said during a third-quarter earnings conference call with analysts.

Wynn told analysts his company had been looking seriously at both states.

“And hopefully, there will be a business opportunity there, in which case we’ll step up and put our credentials on the table and try and satisfy the political leaders and other decision-makers there,” he said.

Contact reporter Chris Sieroty at csieroty@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893.

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