MGC Keeps Proposal at Suffolk Downs Alive: Local Officials Will Prepare for MGC Hearings on Thur., Mon.

December 11, 2013
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A casino at the Suffolk Downs site in Revere is still a possibility as the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) allowed on Tuesday afternoon Mohegan Sun’s proposal to go forward with a commitment that the casino developers and the City of Revere hold a second election for Revere voters early next year.

Earlier in the week, attorneys from the law firm of Koppleman and Page, working on behalf of the city of Everett, submitted a letter to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) opposing a petition by Mohegan Sun/Sterling Suffolk to allow plans for a proposed casino on land owned by the Suffolk Downs partnership to go forward.

Everett’s attorneys argued that the proposal by Mohegan Sun/Sterling Suffolk and supported by the city administration in Revere is now significantly different from the proposal that was put to voters in Revere during a ballot question referendum in November.

The failure of the original proposal, which was to be sited almost entirely in East Boston, failed to win the approval of East Boston voters and problems with the background check for the proposed casino operator, Caesar’s Entertainment, led to the withdrawal of Caesar’s and the entry of Mohegan Sun as the new casino developer.

The new proposal seeks to put the entire casino resort and accessory development on the Revere side of the Suffolk Downs property and will require a new host agreement with the city of Revere, reflective of the city’s increased responsibility and commitment to the project.

The city of Everett’s letter to the MGC, a six-page missive detailed the dramatic change in the scope of the project and the potential issues that could arise.

The Commission is granted wide latitude in the state’s gaming legislation to decide matters such as these and is also allowed to adjust or change their own deadlines, if it serves the purpose of obtaining a better project for the Commonwealth.

The city is also tasked with preparing for two upcoming hearings before the MGC, related to the proposed Wynn Casino Resort in Everett.

First, Wynn and Everett will appear before the Commission on Friday, Dec. 12 to answer questions about the land deal that would allow Wynn Resorts to develop in Everett.

Then a separate hearing next Thursday, December 19, will be held to allow the Commission to rule on the suitability of Wynn as a prospective casino developer in Massachusetts.

To date the MGC has ruled in favor of just one casino developer in Massachusetts. MGM was approved as a suitable developer for the proposed casino resort in Springfield on Monday, Dec. 9.