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Gambling panel postpones hearings on resort casinos

Expects to hold Revere, Everett meetings in May

Mayor Carlo DeMaria Jr.

The state gambling commission has postponed hearings originally scheduled for this week on $1 billion resort casinos proposed for Everett and Revere.

“We had a number of scheduling conflicts for a number of necessary participants so we plan to reschedule for early May,” Elaine Driscoll, spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, wrote in an e-mail. The hearings have not been rescheduled, she said.

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The state’s expanded gambling law requires the commission to hold a public hearing in a community where a casino is proposed before awarding a license.

A hearing on Mohegan Sun’s plan for a resort casino on 42 acres on the Revere side of the Suffolk Downs racetrack was originally scheduled for Monday.

Mohegan Sun has been ordered by state environmental officials to conduct a new environmental impact report since the casino site was moved to Revere land at Suffolk Downs after East Boston voters rejected the gambling development in November.

A hearing on Wynn Resorts’ proposal for 37 acres of vacant industrial land on the Mystic River in Everett was to be held Tuesday.

The license was expected to be awarded in June, but the decision could be pushed to August or later while the commission sorts out the city of Boston’s claim as a host community for both the Everett and Revere projects.

‘I encourage all residents to come to the meeting and reaffirm the city’s overwhelming support for this historic and transformative project.’

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Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh has said the Charlestown neighborhood should get to vote on the Everett project, and that East Boston residents should vote on the Revere proposal.

Wynn and Mohegan are competing for the one resort casino license available for Eastern Massachusetts.

At stake for Everett and Revere are millions of dollars in financial payments and tax revenues and thousands of temporary and permanent jobs. Hotels, restaurants, shops, and a 24-hour casino would be part of each development.

The commission last month held public hearings on each project in Boston that attracted hundreds of supporters and opponents.

Revere and Everett officials hope for a similar turnout when the commissioners come to their cities.

“It’s important now, with just weeks to go before the license is awarded, that we let the commission know that Revere is a better location than the city of Everett,” said Revere Mayor Dan Rizzo.

Rizzo hopes residents emphasize Revere’s long history as a host to Suffolk Downs and the now-closed Wonderland dog track.

“We hosted two tracks for close to 80 years. They were an important source of jobs in our city . . . This hearing will be another opportunity for Revere residents to tell that directly to the Gaming Commission,” Rizzo said.

In a statement, Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria Jr. said the city looks forward to hosting a hearing.

“I am thankful for the hard work the commission has put in . . . and for the opportunity to show them why the Ccty of Everett is the only choice to host an integrated gaming resort in this region,” DeMaria said. “I encourage all residents to come to the meeting and reaffirm the city’s overwhelming support for this historic and transformative project.”

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