A conceptual rendering of the resort casino proposed by Mohegan Sun and Suffolk Downs for Revere. Credit: Mohegan Sun/Suffolk Downs
Boston is not a host community to two resort casinos vying to be built in Revere and Everett and will not get to vote on the projects or receive increased financial compensation to mitigate impacts, the state's gaming commission preliminarily ruled Thursday.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission on Thursday made preliminary decisions that Boston is a surrounding community, rather than a host community, to the two projects proposed by Mohegan Sun and Wynn Resorts. Written formal decisions are expected within the next week.
"I agree with [opposition group] No Eastie Casino and the city of Boston there are a lot of impacts for the city of Boston," said Commissioner Gayle Cameron when discussing the Mohegan Sun proposal in Revere, "but I believe those can be handled in a surrounding community agreement."
The decision followed hours of testimony from city attorneys, lawyers representing the casino projects and opponents of the casino effort.
"The legislature, in its wisdom, defined the host community in geographical terms, not in impact terms. It defined surrounding communities in impact terms," said Commissioner James McHugh.
A rendering of the proposed Wynn casino in Everett. Credit: Wynn Resorts
Mayor Marty Walsh hasasserted that Boston is a host community to the two projects, arguing that they rely on Boston's infrastructure, attractions and roadways as part of their development plans. The casinos have disagreed and said Boston is a surrounding community. A host community typically receives more financial compensation to mitigate impacts and is entitled to a vote on the proposal. A surrounding community does not get to vote and typically receives less money.
A decision on the issue was expected last week, but that was pushed back seven days after Boston requested for time to negotiate with Mohegan Sun as an agreement appeared close. However, late on Wednesday, Mohegan Sun said no agreement was reached.