Walsh Scouring Casino Documents for Benefits

January 16, 2014
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Mayor Martin Walsh just took office last week and one of his first tasks was to pore over the 43,000 pages of documents from both the Wynn and Mohegan Sun casino proposals and make an educated decision before entering into any agreement with either.

So Walsh asked the Mass Gaming Commission for a 30 day extension to digest the material he was just given, which was denied by the Commission.

This week Walsh said he was disappointed in the Gaming Commission’s failure to grant Boston the extension requested so he could find concrete ways to protect both the Charlestown and East Boston neighborhoods from any negative impacts and make sure those impacts were mitigated.

“The Commission has refused to grant Boston a mere 30 additional days to review 43,000 pages of documents, the vast majority of which we are seeing for the first time,” said Walsh. “Given the volume of the pages to be reviewed, and the extremely short time frame we have had available to review them, it is clear that the extension was not an unreasonable request.”

Walsh and the City of Boston petitioned the Massachusetts Gaming Commission in order to preserve the interests of the City, its residents, businesses and visitors, in the development of proposed Wynn and Mohegan Sun resort destination casinos. The petition preserves the City’s right to assert host community status for both proposals, without waiving it’s rights to surrounding community status. The petition also asks the Gaming Commission to compel both proponents to share information with the communities that would be most impacted by their proposals.

“We believe this unrestricted route is the best path forward to protect the residents of Charlestown and East Boston, and the City of Boston as a whole,” said Walsh. “These applicants must have a more open dialogue with the people of Boston, particularly those neighborhoods that will be most impacted. At any time, if the facts indicate that Boston is a host city, we preserve its right to withdraw from surrounding community negotiations.”

While preserving its rights to host status, the City’s Petition also asked the Gaming Commission to have both the Wynn and Mohegan Sun applicants supplement their filings with the Commission, and if they fail to do that, for the Commission to designate Boston a surrounding community.