By Mark Arsenault | GLOBE STAFF MARCH 19, 2014
The state gambling commission will convene a formal hearing in two weeks to resolve claims by Mayor Martin J. Walsh that Boston voters in Charlestown and East Boston have a right to decide if a resort casino can be built on the city’s border.“The people of Boston deserve the democratic process,” Walsh told the five-member commission in brief remarks at a meeting Thursday.
“The people of Boston deserve the democratic process,” Walsh told the five-member commission in brief remarks at a meeting Thursday.
Walsh’s comments came one day after his administration unexpectedly declared to the commission that the city is a “host community,” under the 2011 casino law, to a Wynn Resorts casino plan on the city’s border with Everett and to a Mohegan Sun casino proposal at Suffolk Downs, the thoroughbred racetrack that straddles the East Boston-Revere city line.
Host communities have tremendous leverage under state law to demand millions of dollars in compensation from casino developers. They can also kill casino projects by voting them down.
“I’m not looking to kill anything,” Walsh said of the two massive casino proposals, in remarks to reporters. “I’m looking for the community, the people of those communities, to decide what they want.”
Mark Arsenault can be reached at Mark.Arsenault@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @bostonglobemark