Revere, Everett, But Not Boston Host Communities, Gaming Commission Rules

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh has finalized a surrounding community agreement with Mohegan Sun over its proposed Suffolk Downs.
Suffolk Downs in Revere. –David L. Ryan/Boston Globe

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission unanimously ruled Thursday that Boston is not a host community for the proposed casinos in either Revere or Everett.

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh had been petitioning for Boston to get host community designation for the proposed Mohegan Sun and Wynn Resorts casinos.

Host communities get to vote on whether or not to allow the casinos, and can demand significant compensation from casino developers.

East Boston had previously voted against hosting a casino that would have straddled the Revere-East Boston line. The proposal was reworked to make sure the casino was entirely located within Revere, and Revere voters approved the casino in February.


The decision is being considered a “decision in principle,’’ but a formal decision will be forthcoming, the commission says.

Only four members voted on the proposal after commission chairman Stephen Crosby recused himself earlier today.

Walsh released the following statement following the vote:

I'm disappointed in today's decision by the Gaming Commission. The Commission's announcement seemed predetermined because after three hours of testimony, they only took ten minutes to arrive at a decision. I have said -- and I truly believe -- that Boston is a host community to both sites, and I intend to continue to do everything in my power to protect our best interests. The people of East Boston and Charlestown deserve the opportunity to vote. Tomorrow, I will meet with my legal team to evaluate all of the options available to us right now. We have not made a decision about our next step, but we will share developments as they are available.

Walsh sponsored the original Mass. gaming legislation when he served in the state’s legislature.

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