The chairman of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission removed himself Thursday from the debate over casino proposals in Greater Boston, acknowledging that his recent actions, including his attendance at a Suffolk Downs party, have raised questions about his impartiality.
Stephen P. Crosby made the stunning announcement, then left the commission’s public meeting at which the remaining four commissioners unanimously rejected Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s bid to have Boston considered a host community for proposed casino sites in Everett and Revere.
Walsh, who has tried unsuccessfully to reach agreements with both Mohegan Sun and Wynn Resorts that would give Boston residents more say over the projects, was disappointed with the commission’s decision and is “considering all options,” including a lawsuit, said a person close to the mayor.
“The commission’s announcement seemed predetermined because after three hours of testimony, they only took 10 minutes to arrive at a decision,” Walsh said. “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.”
Host community status gives municipalities the power to decide the fate of casino projects through binding referendums.
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