The state gambling commission will undertake a nearly monthlong process to determine how much influence the City of Boston will have over two casino proposals on the city’s border, potentially pushing the awarding of the Greater Boston resort casino license back to August or later.
“We are bending over backwards to give the city a fair opportunity — a very fair opportunity — to make its case,” said commission chairman Stephen Crosby, who noted the commission had wanted to award the license in May or June. “A big price is being paid by a lot of people.”
At stake is whether Boston qualifies under the 2011 casino law as a “host community” to a Wynn Resorts casino plan in Everett and a Mohegan Sun casino proposal at Suffolk Downs in Revere. Host communities have the power to decide the fate of casino projects through binding referendum.
On Thursday, the commission scheduled a hearing for May 1 on Boston’s status.
Mayor Martin J. Walsh last month unexpectedly declared to the commission that the city is a host community to the two projects, both very near the city line. He insists that the Charlestown neighborhood should get to vote on the Wynn project and that East Boston residents deserve to vote on the Mohegan Sun proposal.
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