Mayor Martin Walsh is seeking far greater power in the evaluation of casino proposals on the city’s border, declaring that Boston is entitled to hold a referendum on each proposal, to negotiate massive compensation packages with the developers and, if it so chooses, to block a casino from being built.
Walsh’s administration made the claim in two letters to the state gambling commission tonight, in which the city insists it is a “host community,” under the 2011 casino law, to the Mohegan Sun casino project in Revere and a Wynn Resorts proposal in Everett.
Both developers claim their projects, though very close to the city line, are not in Boston, and therefore the city is not a host community. The developers say Boston qualifies for a lesser designation that would permit the city to negotiate compensation to offset any negative effects of a casino, but without the power to block a project or the leverage to drive a rich deal.
The gambling commission is expected to address Boston’s status at a meeting tomorrow.