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Everett casino supporters hail commission vote

When the state gaming commission voted to approve a $1.6 billion Wynn Resorts casino in Everett, a dozen casino supporters gathered in an office near Everett Square unleashed a great cheer and stood and hugged one another.

“I’m grateful and thrilled and exhausted,” said Linda Maloney, 60, a secretary and lifelong city resident, who watched the vote unfold on a giant TV.

“Now a new journey begins for us because the casino is coming to Everett,” she said.

Maloney and others spent almost two years supporting the casino, helping to win a referendum with an 86 percent approval vote in 2013.

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“It’s a great day for Everett and a great day for the Commonwealth because of the millions in new revenues for the state,” said Vincent Raguccci Jr., 72, a retired banker and lifelong city resident. “I’m elated it’s us.”

Ron Farnell, 77, a retired advertising salesman, said the casino means good jobs — career jobs. He said he’ll celebrate “by taking the wife out to dinner.”

“This was the right choice,” he said.

The group then filed out to wave to motorists in the busy square.

Michael Matarazzo, city clerk for eight years and a city councilor for 18 years before that, said the community must begin to prepare.

“We have a lot of work ahead of us as a city,” he said.

Renee Scott, 41, stopped on Broadway while shopping with two of her four children to express her hope for the development.

“Opportunities, jobs — I’ll definitely apply for a job when it comes,” she said.

At City Hall, smiles were in evidence but also worries that the casino deal might fall through in a statewide referendum in November. But employees declined comment on the record, deferring to Mayor Carlo DeMaria.

One person who expressed skepticism on Broadway was a 16-year-old high school student who said she worried about a rise gambling addiction and other vices.

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“It’s actually not a good deal,” the girl said. “People are going to lose their money.”