Gaming commission to weigh Walsh’s casino delay request this week
The state’s gaming commission will this week hear arguments concerning Mayor Marty Walsh’s attempt to delay the awarding of a resort casino license to one of two projects bordering Boston.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is scheduled to meet Wednesday in Charlestown to take up the matter and has invited representatives form Boston, Everett, Revere, Mohegan Sun and Wynn Resorts to speak on the issue.
Walsh’s law office submitted a letter to the commission last week, just days after the state’s highest court ruled that voters could decide a November ballot question that seeks to overturn the 2011 expanded gaming law.
“To prevent the needless expenditure of additional time, money and effort by the city of Boston, at a time when the future of casino gambling in Massachusetts is uncertain, the city respectfully requests that the gaming commission stay all proceedings before it concerning the issuance of a … license,” said Eugene O’Flaherty, the city’s attorney, in the letter.
Mohegan Sun is proposing a resort casino in Revere at Suffolk Downs and Wynn is pitching one for Everett.
Revere Mayor Dan Rizzo said he respects Walsh, but sees no reason for a delay.
“A timeline has been announced and they should stick with it. It’s also worth noting that two other licenses have been granted with full knowledge that there could be a ballot question – this is no different,” Rizzo said in a statement. “Mohegan Sun has reached 11 other surrounding community agreements. I can see no reason for further delays.”
The gaming commission voted last month to reject Boston’s argument that it is a host community to both the Mohegan Sun and Wynn proposals. The city must now secure a surrounding community agreement.
The Greater Boston resort casino license is expected to be awarded in August or September, months after an original estimate.
Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.