The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has postponed today’s expected decision on Boston’s claim that it is a host community for two proposed casinos. The delay gives the city and developers an additional week to negotiate a deal, according to WBUR.
Host community status for Boston would mean Charlestown gets to vote on Everett’s casino proposal, backed by casino mogul Steve Wynn, and East Boston gets a vote on the revised Revere proposal, backed by Suffolk Downs and Mohegan Sun. It would also give the city a stronger hand in negotiating a revenue-sharing deal with both casino developers. Mayor Marty Walsh has argued Boston is a host community because both proposals need the city’s infrastructure to work.
Commission chairman Stephen Crosby got a call from Governor Deval Patrick, who said he believes the sides are close to a deal, which would make the vote moot, according to the Boston Herald.
Walsh has forcefully argued Boston’s case for host community status in recent months, claiming both proposals need Boston’s roadways, airport, bridges and tunnels to succeed. The new mayor has also questioned the commission’s authority to name host communities.
As a state representative, Walsh supported the casino bill, leading The Boston Globe to question whether his recent push is a negotiating tactic with Wynn and Mohegan Sun.