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Residents in Everett and Revere had mixed reactions Tuesday to the state gaming commission's decision to choose the Wynn Resorts casino proposal in Everett over Mohegan Sun's plans for the Suffolk Downs racetrack in Revere.
In Everett, some cars honked with approval. However, occasionally, a passerby voiced opposition to the deal, yelling "I'm not for it," as they moved by.
But Michael McLaughlin, a former city councilor, calls the Wynn casino plan a win-win for Everett due to plans to reclaim contaminated land.
"Thirty-eight acres sitting there dormant, because it had a former Monsanto chemical plant on it that nobody would be able to do anything with it, didn't have the resources that Mr. Wynn has to be able to build," he said.
McLaughlin touts a $5 million line item in the host community agreement for police and fire department needs.
"Right now we spend about $3 million on public safety," McLaughlin said. "So we're adding an additional $5 million in public safety — that's doubling out manpower."
In Revere, there's a broad range of reaction.
Resident Joe Mazzella said he was caught off guard by the decision.
"I'm very surprised," he said. "I was hoping Revere would get it ... I figured it was going to bring in a lot of construction jobs, a lot of union work, [I'm] very disappointed."
Luisa Arroyave says not getting the casino could be good for Revere.
"I thought it was going to be too much violence, it's going bring too much gamblers, too much drugs to Revere," she said. "I'm just thinking not about financially how much money was going to come to Revere, but also about the kids and everything like that."
But she says she does feel bad about the racetrack, which would've been the site of Mohegan Sun's casino. Suffolk Downs officials signaled they'll wind down racing operations.
Longtime horse trainer Osvaldo Rivera says he's resigned to the changing times.
"I've been here 30 years. This is where I love to be, but there's nothing we can do about if the owner says it's time to close, time to go," Rivera said.
For those on both sides of the issue it's on to the next battle on Nov. 4, when the referendum on whether to repeal the law allowing casinos in Massachusetts will occur.
This segment aired on September 17, 2014.
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