Mayor Thomas Menino said though he believes a casino project in Everett would impact Boston greatly, the developer behind that proposal has yet to seek input from city officials.
Following a press conference on his 2013-14 state legislative session goals, Menino was asked about Wynn LLC’s recent application to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to construct a resort-casino along the Mystic River in Everett and whether he thought the project would affect city traffic.
“You’d have to go through Charlestown, over the city’s property. That’s the gateway into the Everett site,” Menino said. “I’ve talked to several folks in development who’ve said to me that Boston leads into the site.”
The mayor also had concerns about how a nearby casino would tax the city’s infrastructure.
“Who’s paying for that? I’ve never heard anybody talk about the infrastructure, the roadways around the proposed Everett site,” he said.
Menino was also asked whether a second developer, Neil Bluhm of Mass Gaming and Entertainment, had presented his proposal to develop a casino in the Boston area.
The mayor’s response: “No.”
Tuesday was the deadline for developers to submit applications with the Massachusetts Gaming Commission for the first application phase. The process was set up following passage of the state’s expanded gaming law in 2011, which allows for casinos to be opened in the commonwealth.
As of early Tuesday, seven companies had submitted Phase 1 applications, and the $400,000 application fee, according to a news release posted on the Gaming Commission website.
“MGM, Penn National, Hard Rock and Mohegan Sun have indicated interest in competing in Western Massachusetts (Region B) for one of the state’s three resort-casino licenses,” the release stated. “Plainridge Racecourse, located in Plainville, Massachusetts, has indicated interest in competing for the state’s single slots-parlor license. Wynn, LLC has cited interest in pursuing a resort-casino license in Everett, MA (Region A).”
In addition, the operators of Suffolk Downs, partnering with Caesar’s Entertainment, have proposed a $1 billion resort-casino to be located at the site of the Suffolk Downs racetrack in East Boston, the Boston Globe reported. Only one license is available in the Greater Boston area.
Wynn LLC Founder and CEO Steve Wynn is reportedly eying a 37-acre property in Everett—which formerly housed the Monsanto Chemical Co. plant—for his new casino, according to an article on Boston.com. Wynn’s past projects include the Bellagio, The Mirage and Treasure Island in Las Vegas.
The Everett project includes development of a resort hotel with between 300 and 500 rooms, the Globe reported.
And as the Boston Business Journal reported on Tuesday, Bluhm’s Mass Gaming and Entertainment has also submitted an application for the Massachusetts Gaming Commission’s Phase 1 review. The company is reportedly evaluating several sites in the Boston area.