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John Henry considered buying Everett casino

Work is underway outside of the new Encore casino in Everett.
John Henry said the idea for an Encore bid was raised to him a year ago by an acquaintance. –Jessica Rinaldi / The Boston Globe

It was one of the biggest deals in memory that didn’t happen: Wynn Resorts this month discussed selling the Encore Boston Harbor hotel and casino to MGM Resorts, though talks broke off without an agreement.

But MGM was not the only suitor for the $2.6 billion gambling resort on the Mystic River in Everett. Boston businessman John W. Henry, principal owner of the Boston Red Sox and the owner and publisher of The Boston Globe, backed by a group of potential investors, quietly investigated buying the Encore in 2018 and again just weeks ago, Henry confirmed in response to questions from a Globe reporter.

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In the spring of 2018, the Encore development was in a haze of uncertainty. The company’s chief executive, Steve Wynn, had recently resigned due to the revelation of sexual misconduct allegations against him, his ownership stake had been sold, and regulators in Massachusetts and Nevada were investigating whether the company was still fit to hold a gambling license.