Boston Mayor Martin Walsh has lost a bid to give city residents a chance to vote on casinos proposed for neighboring Everett and Revere.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission agreed in principle Thursday that Boston should not be designated a “host community” for either of the casino projects, which are vying to win the sole gambling license in the state’s eastern region.
The status would have mandated voter referendums from neighborhoods impacted by Mohegan Sun’s proposal for Revere and Wynn’s proposal for Everett.
The decisions are expected to be finalized in writing as soon as next week. They came after the commission heard nearly three hours of arguments from the Walsh administration, casino officials and anti-casino advocates.
Lawyers for the Walsh administration argued that proposed casinos in Everett and Revere would take advantage of Boston’s amenities and infrastructure. Mohegan Sun asserted that its casino would be based entirely in Revere.
On Wynn Resort’s proposal in Everett, Walsh’s office argued that the only way to access the waterfront property is through a road that begins in Boston, which Wynn disputes.
It also came after commission chairman Stephen Crosby, bowing to critics, recused himself from the eastern casino licensing process.