The City of Boston was widely expected to submit a final offer for a surrounding community agreement with Wynn Resorts for its proposed Everett casino yesterday, but Mayor Martin Walsh says the city will not participate in that process.
Instead, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission will be left to decide what, if anything, Boston deserves to receive in mitigation compensation should the Everett project be awarded the state’s lone Boston-area casino license.
Walsh, who has duelled all year with the gaming board, says he’s rolling the dice in deferring their way.
From The Boston Globe:
"So far it's been a no-win situation for us dealing with the Wynn folks, and the gaming commission has been a big part of that," Walsh said. "It's either arbitration or [the commission] can do it. They'e made all the decisions along the way for Boston up to this point. I'm going to let them make the decision for Boston on what benefits Boston should get if they choose the Wynn proposal."
(One outstanding question: Was that no-win pun intended?)
The city avoided arbitration with Mohegan Sun over its Suffolk Downs proposal in Revere this week, with Walsh signing a surrounding community agreement with the gaming company that will net the city $18 million per year and other payments Thursday afternoon. Walsh says Wynn’s most recent offer paled in comparison, according to MassLive’s Garrett Quinn.
Wynn has previously won arbitrators’ approval in striking host community agreements with both Chelsea and Somerville. As part of the process, arbitrators choose between the developer’s and the city’s offer and may not adjust either offer. The Somerville and Chelsea agreements proposed and won by Wynn will pay those cities about $650,000 per year.
And, of course, here’s your obligatory reminder that none of this may wind up meaning a thing if in November, voters choose to repeal expanded gambling legislation in Massachusetts in a referendum effort.