Boston Mayor Marty Walsh accused the Massachusetts Gaming Commission of favoring casino supporters over city residents after the panel unanimously voted Thursday to strip Boston of any surrounding community recognition for a proposed casino in Everett.
The decision means that Boston would not receive funding or a mitigation package if Wynn Resorts is given approval for its plan and moves into Boston's backyard.
Unlike in Revere, where Boston officials worked out a deal with Mohegan Sun casino developers, they were unable to strike a compromise in Everett after the city pulled out, accusing developers of withholding key information. And when the city stopped trying, it was no longer guaranteed any compensation, the commission said.
"This shows great disregard for the people of Boston, and is further evidence that the gaming commission appears to be making up the rules as they go along in the process," Walsh said after the decision.
But gaming Commissioner James McHugh said that's not the case.
"The commission is aggressively reaching out to the communities involved, to gather the facts, to formulate conditions that will protect the interests of those residents," McHugh said.
Boston still has an opportunity to negotiate a compensation plan with developers of the Everett casino, McHugh said, adding that "this is not the kind of door closing exercise."
But the overall fate of casinos breaking ground in Massachusetts will be decided by the voters on a ballot question in November.
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