Gaming commission rejects Boston bid for greater say on Revere, Everett casinos

Yeah, sure, casinos right on the city line will have major impacts on Boston, but Boston is not a "host community" for either of the proposed casinos, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission decided today. The vote means Boston will not be able to hold referendums on the casinos that could block them permanently.

Commission members unanimously rejected arguments by Boston officials that the Suffolk Downs racetrack, which mostly sits in East Boston, is an integral part of the Mohegan Sun proposal.

Mohegan Sun officials said today they would have nothing to do with the track and would not even use it as an "amenity" in promoting their casino, which, after last fall's referendum on a mostly East Boston casino, was moved entirely to land in Revere. They said they made a point of signing water and sewer agreements with Revere and that even the casino's subway stop - Beachmont - is in Revere.

Commission members then also rejected Boston arguments that the Everett site is tainted by the participation of a criminal who attempted to hide his involvement from the commission. Although commission members said they remain troubled by that issue, that does not affect the question of whether the proposed Wynn casino is physically just in Everett. Also not worth giving Boston more of a say: Agreements between Wynn and Boston facilities such as Boston Garden and the BSO for performances; they were not deemed "amenities" integral to the casino proposal.

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This is the end

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Get the goddamn casinos out of here. Can't you see what is going on here? These "commission" people are paid off, so that Boston doesn't have a chance to stop the money entering the pockets of the owners.

Its all corrupt and run by criminals at the end of the day. Morally bankrupt individuals that siphon money from those without self-control or self-worth. Absolute bottom of the barrel, those casino owners.

There will be only increased crime, concentration of anti-social behaviors, and a steady corrosion in the standard of living. This is a fact of any community that has a new casino built nearby.

That statewide reversal referendum can't come fast enough, because the casino owners will wait as long as they need to to suck you off, I mean, dry.

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Wow.

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Do people really think that a casino is what's going to make Everett or Revere more economically viable communities?

Boston should've annexed its immediate neighbors 100 years ago so we wouldn't have to deal with this kind of crap now.

Also, they should do as much as possible to deincentivise people driving into the casino. Make parking extremely limited with shuttles running from Wonderland and other T stops, and widen roads and build other amenities for people living in nearby areas.

I really really don't want a casino anywhere near the city.

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Casino

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The casinos are not in Boston, it is as simple as that. Boston does not have a vote on what happens in another city or town. I dare say that if the situation were reverse Boston would not honor a vote taken in Everett or Revere.

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Except that Revere did vote on Boston casino

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Revere was considered a host community and got to vote on the first incarnation of the Suffolk Downs casino that was all in Boston. Now that they moved some of the buildings over the city line, they are denying Boston a vote.

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Dirty Revere Politics

I asked Mayor Rizzo two or three times now how he feels about this, and he has never responded. He's very good about responding to other queries, but he won't share his opinion on Revere's host status before any of the casino was in Revere.

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In less tortured logic

Boston had a chance.

Boston said no.

Now Boston is whining about not getting to make the rules for other communities and not getting to move the goal posts and borders.

New slogan for Boston: The NIMBY City!

(FTR: I'm very skeptical about casinos, too - but the laws are the laws and Boston needs to just suck it up - particularly when it comes to the uncontested Everett bid.)

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Legal Yes, Logical No

By the letter of the law, Boston should have no say. A town border is a town border and it shouldn't matter if the town is huge like Boston or tiny like Ware.

But logically the law was designed to give the town that the casino would impact the most the greatest say and benefit. Clearly that isn't the case where being inches away from the border Boston will bear the brunt of the "negatives" while the two town centers of the legal hosts will see far less impact.

I don't think Boston should be a host city but it would be reasonable to say that if Revere or Everett wants it they need to find a location not inches away from a boarder. Logically the host / border community should have been based on geographic distance not arbitrary town lines.

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The Border with Everett?

There ain't much Boston there to bear the brunt of anything much. Even those caught in traffic in the area are probably not headed into Boston, but into Everett or Somerville.

I understand the issues with the Revere Do-Over, but Boston's whining about the Everett Casino is a bunch of flaming hooey. Boston isn't hardly bearing the brunt of the negatives for the Everett site - just look at the map!

This is more like "neighbors" demanding payoffs because somebody is renovating.

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Where are town dumps located?

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As I drive around our great Commonwealth, this strikes me. By and large, every town dump or "trash transfer facility" is located by a town line, meaning that the least number of residents are affected in the town, yet residents of the adjoining town who are unfortunate enough to live by the town line have to deal with the dump. Despite my views on casinos, this is basically the case here. I mean, Suffolk Downs wants a casino on its property and Wynn has ideas for the Everett waterfront, but as far as adjoining municipalities go, basically they are dealing with a dump on their border. Which means they can ask the company to do something about it, but it is not in their town.

By the way, the dump that stays in my mind is in Wellesley on the Needham line. And Boston's dumps, for those not in the know, are now Pope John Paul II Park on the Neponset by Quincy and Millennium Park on the Charles, surprisingly by Needham. You never think that Needham and Boston share a border, but they do. Oh, and Columbia Point and Spectacle Island were dumps but that is the harbor (and perhaps Quincy again) dealing with the effects.

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Aha - the solution

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Boston needs a new dump. Take the Boston land next to the Casino (on our side) and turn it into a dump. Or maybe we need a small wastewater treatment plant to supplement Deer Island? One of those open air ones.

The city can blame the geniuses in Eastie for this one - pro/anti casino doesn't matter. You were getting the casino no matter how you voted. What they voted against was getting benefits.

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That would be one expensive land taking

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If the casino went it, the proximity to it, in this one case, would raise the value.

Of course, I would say that Boston couldn't just seize the land through eminent domain, but there's Kelo v City of New London just sitting there, sucking.

On a very serious, very aside, where does our garbage go?

More accurately

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Boston had a choice.

Boston said no.

There should be no casino at Suffolk Downs.

Since you like logic, here's what the law said about projects that span two communities:
if( (Community1Vote == NO) || (Community2Vote == NO) )
{
AllowCasino = FALSE;
}

Revere could have chosen another site for their casino proposal, like Wonderland, but they knew that they had the Mass Gaming Commission on their side, so they kept it at Suffolk Downs and the MGC took their side over the voters of East Boston, gave them an extension, and helped them get to where we are today.

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The racetrack, which they

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The racetrack, which they have said will not stay if the casino is not given to them, is in Boston, and that certainly has gambling there. So it is all one operation except when they want it to be two to avoid letting the residents vote. The casino and racetrack both will have gambling, the casino is an extension of the racetrack and necessary for its survival, and is located in Boston.

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Racetrack won't have a casino

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Sterling Suffolk is leasing land they own to Mohegan Sun, who will give them a cut of the profits (and should things go not so well, a decent rent.) The gambling that will take place at Suffolk Downs has taken place at Suffolk Downs since 1937. Also, the racetrack is partially in Revere (the far turn and the stables currently.)

Sure, it's semantics, but that's what lawyers are for. Two operations. No slots in the grandstands. No poker in the clubhouse. All of that will be on leased land. In Revere, and entirely in Revere. Good old fashioned pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing will be what Suffolk Downs will continue to do.

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That's what the law says

"Host community" means host community, not neighboring community. No other surrounding towns for any of the other proposed casinos got a say in the matter, why should Boston?

Besides, ever since the first two towns were incorporated, there have been issues about how one town's development affects another town, always with the same result - too bad. Put a dump on the town line? Too bad. Put a mall on the town line? Too bad. A casino is no different.

Sheesh, get over yourselves.

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Bah, you have no idea about

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Bah, you have no idea about the real world.

Everything effects each other.

What is the ideal location to build a casino if you are the owner? Where most people can get there with fewest investment by the owner: Therefore casino would ideally be suited in Chinatown, next to the Pike, 93, S. Station, and Subways. But there's no space, too expensive to take land.

So they goto where the people who run the laws are willing to "work" with them, and there's space available, with a minimum of cost, but still close to the most amount people. The three-point min-max equation.

Location and cost cannot be changed. Law is only the will of people, and can be adjusted to suit the needs of whoever is writing the checks, especially more effectively in a small town.

There is absolutely nothing good about a casino. Whatever you have heard is propaganda written by casino owners, and whatever people they have paid to say it. The ultimate source is greed.

You, who admire laws, the handiwork of men, should remember the golden rule.
And also the saying "The love of money is the root of all evil."

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FWIW, I'm anti-casino

There is absolutely nothing good about a casino.

I'm actually anti-casino.

Being anti-casino wasn't easy for me. I'm usually a live-and-let-live guy, one who doesn't want government trying to protect one from oneself. I Have nothing against gambling at all. My argument against casinos is that the promises far exceed reality. They were great money generators when there were only a few of them, like Foxwoods in the early days. But, when every state has a few casinos, the money won't even come close to what was promised and you end up with one sad building barely surviving.

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Okay

So when do I get to force Boston to enter the 20th century and design a proper road and cycling network? Also, when do I get to vote on who runs Boston? I do work in the city - and live within 7 miles of city hall.

By your logic, people in Brookline, Revere, Cambridge, Somerville, Everett, etc. should have had a right to vote in the election that Mayor Walsh won, as you seem to think that he somehow gets to be mayor of Boston and everything around it.

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C'mon

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We're not talking about trying to control a neighboring town. We're talking about having a say in the placement of a huge casino with primary access through our town and with very real public health impacts. The fact that any little people get to vote on this at all shows that it is a different scenario than most development projects.

In the case of Suffolk Downs, they twisted their proposal to fit a narrow interpretation of the law and abandoned their "cherished" host community so that they could make a buck. I'm surprised that you can't see the sliminess of this.

By the way there are a lot of us Boston residents also pushing for improvements to cycling infrastructure. You should join the Boston Cyclist Union and help the cause instead of complaining. It's hard to fight the momentum of the powerful, but don't hate on those who are trying.

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A little hard to argue

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When our own officials pushed for the rule that only Eastie could vote on the casino on the presumption that it would be easy to influence (in favor) in a small area with only a few thousand votes. The pro-casino crowd thought they could buy the election. Unfortunately - per my post above - Eastie voted to cut off their own nose to spite Everett's/Revere's face.

Now they are ROTFLTAO while the blood is gushing from their face.

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No other casinos got to rebid

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No other casinos got to rebid after losing the referendum, after the deadline, either. So the rules no longer applied once the gambling commission allowed the anointed ones, Suffolk, to skirt the vote and rebid. Will any of the racetrack be in Boston still, will gambling occur there? If yes to either of those, then this is just bending the rules by having different corporations run different parts of an obviously unified gambling area.

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Different plan

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As I noted in some earlier post on this, were the referendum decided by aggregate vote, the original plan would have passed. The voters of East Boston picked up their ball and went home, while the voters of Revere got a new ball.

As for the racetrack and pari-mutuel wagering therein, we voted on that back in 1938. And it won, overwhelmingly.

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How many other casinos got to

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How many other casinos got to have a redo vote past the deadline after they lost? Or in other words, how many other casinos hosted the gambling commissioner to parties and got to have a revote.

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Timeline is a bit off

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So, Crosby allowed this so that he could pay to attend a party 6 months later?

The question is "how many casino plans got to have a redo vote past the deadline after they lost?" The answer continues to be zero. New plan, new vote, which passed.

The new plan was presented....

... quite a while after the time for submission of new plans had passed (for everyone else). Seems pretty blatantly illegal -- and the Everett folks will make full use of this fact if (as we all suspect) the casino is ultimately awarded to the pre-anointed Suffolk Downs-related project.

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I cannot doubt that

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Just like opponents cannot doubt that the Gaming Commission's negative report on Caesars, what a month before the vote, even though they could have raised it much earlier, may have influenced the result. I mean, Suffolk went into the vote without a partner.

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