7 towns to share $3.7m casino payout

Mohegan Sun agrees to pay communities if Revere casino OK’d

Mohegan Sun has agreed to pay $3.7 million annually spread among seven communities to address the local impact of its $1.3 billion resort casino proposed for the Revere side of the Suffolk Downs racetrack.

Cambridge, Chelsea, Lynn, Malden, Medford, Melrose, and Salem would receive annual payments and other benefits from surrounding community agreements.

Mohegan also has agreed to promote regional tourist and cultural attractions, and extend its rewards program to businesses in the various communities. Points earned by gamblers could be used like cash to pay for goods or services at participating locations.


Preference would be given to residents of each community who apply for jobs, and to businesses that want to sell goods or provide services to the Revere development. Mohegan also would offer services to address compulsive gambling.

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“Our relationship with our surrounding communities is very important,” Chip Tuttle, chief operating officer at Suffolk Downs, said in a statement. The agreements, he added, “Will create new economic and tourism opportunities for the entire region.”

Suffolk Downs and Mohegan Sun did not release details of each agreement, which in many cases must still be finalized. But some local officials shared their terms.

Chelsea: Annual payment of at least $2.5 million to the city, plus $2.5 million spent on local businesses; reserve 5 percent of the development’s 4,000 permanent jobs for city residents. The City Council voted to approve the agreement on Jan. 27.

Malden: Annual payment of $600,000, with the potential to increase depending on gaming revenue. Access to Mohegan’s programs to address problem gamblers. Agreement will be sent to City Council for approval in next 30 days, Mayor Gary Christenson said.


Melrose: Annual payment of $50,000; access to Mohegan’s programs for problem gamblers. The agreement does not require approval of the Board of Aldermen, said Mayor Robert J. Dolan.

Salem: Annual payment of $50,000; joint promotion with the city of its cultural and tourist attractions. Agreement could be submitted to the City Council for approval in February, said Dominick Pangallo, chief of staff to Mayor Kim Driscoll.

Medford Mayor Michael J. McGlynn declined to disclose details of his city’s agreement until it is finalized. Lynn Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Mohegan Sun also agreed to spend $1 million to study the region’s most congested roadways, including those that may not necessarily be affected by its development.

Connecticut-based Mohegan Sun is competing against Wynn Resorts of Las Vegas for the one resort casino license available for Greater Boston. Wynn proposes to build a $1 billion resort casino in Everett on the Mystic River.


Hotels, spas, restaurants, retailers, and a 24-hour casino would be part of each development. Both would create an estimated 2,500 temporary construction jobs and 4,000 permanent jobs.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is expected to award the license by May 30.

In its application, Mohegan Sun said it would make a best effort hire 75 percent of its full-time workforce from communities located within a 15-mile radius of Revere City Hall. It also said it would spend $50 million on goods and services from businesses located within the radius.

On Monday, Mohegan Sun will hold a job forum for area residents to learn about career opportunities at 5:30 p.m. at Suffolk Downs. On Tuesday, business forums for potential vendors will be held at noon and 6 p.m. at the Comfort Inn in Revere.

Dolan said the promise of job and business opportunity would be a key benefit.

“That’s a tremendous opportunity for this region,” he said. “I know many Melrose residents who have worked second jobs over at Suffolk Downs. Now this will provide even more opportunity, if they are selected for this license.”

The state’s gambling law requires a casino developer to negotiate surrounding community agreements with cities and towns that would be most affected by its development.

Wynn also is negotiating agreements with surrounding communities. Malden last fall agreed to a pact with Wynn that would pay the city $1 million annually, and give hiring preferences to residents.

Medford is also negotiating with Wynn.

Wynn has agreed to hold vendor fairs in Melrose for city businesses and a construction job fair for city residents; promote cultural events in the city; and allow local businesses to market services to Wynn employees, according to Dolan.

Mohegan Sun still is negotiating with Boston, Saugus, and Winthrop, officials said.

The seven agreements announced by Mohegan Sun last week followed weeks of negotiations. “The pace was fast and furious,” McGlynn said.

“We were aggressive,” said Christenson. “We joined the other cities and towns to make the case about the potential impacts on traffic and public safety.”

Malden is the first community to strike a surrounding agreement with both casino applicants.

“I am confident, with each agreement, that we have taken the right steps to protect Malden from whatever impacts may come from either one of these casinos,” Christenson said.

Kathy McCabe can be reached at katherine.mccabe@ Follow her on Twitter @GlobeKMcCabe.