When the Legislature crafted and passed the Expanded Gaming Act in 2011, setting the stage for the development of destination resort casinos in the Commonwealth, my colleagues in the Legislature did an outstanding job of recognizing the importance of local control over a gaming development. A key component of the gaming law, which I supported, restricted local ballot questions in the state’s largest cities to the ward in which a gaming development would occur. By including the ward-only provision, the Legislature wisely ensured that residents of the areas potentially most affected by these mammoth projects would have a greater say in its development.
As such, residents of my neighborhood, East Boston, will soon vote on the $1 billion casino project proposed at the 161-acre complex at Suffolk Downs. Mayor Tom Menino and his team did a commendable job with a thorough host community agreement, which appropriately balances the interests of the City of Boston with those of East Boston.