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Boston seeks delay on casino ruling

Gambling panel set to designate neighbor status

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh is again asking the state gambling commission for more time to study two casino proposals on the city’s border, before the commission formally designates Boston a “surrounding community” to the projects.

Walsh’s administration is still trying to obtain relevant details on the projects from the applicants, Mohegan Sun and Wynn Resorts, and therefore is not ready for a designation that would trigger a formal negotiating period with the developers to settle compensation, Elizabeth Dello Russo, a lawyer for the city law department, wrote in letters sent Thursday to the gambling commission. She asked for a hearing before the commission to plead the case for more time.

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The city is still investigating the possible effects of the casinos, as well as whether Boston is a “host community” for one or both of the projects on its border. If the city qualified as a host community, Boston would have far greater rights to demand compensation.

The commission originally announced it would designate surrounding communities on Tuesday, but the designations for the Boston region have been delayed and not yet rescheduled, said commission spokeswoman Elaine Driscoll.

Mohegan Sun wants to build on about 42 acres of land in Revere that belong to the Suffolk Downs racetrack, just over the city border with East Boston.

Wynn has proposed a casino on former industrial land on the Mystic River waterfront in Everett, also very close to Boston. The city line crosses the Mystic River and runs along Wynn’s proposed site.

Both developers tailored their proposals to avoid building in Boston in order to deny the city the power to block the projects.

Mark Arsenault can be reached at mark.arsenault@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @bostonglobemark.
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