Wynn and Walsh Need to Be Reasonable about Casino Mitigation Package

January 15, 2014
By

There are new twists and turns almost on a daily basis concerning the casino proposals at  Wynn Resorts in Everett and Mohegan Sun in Revere.

Two new developments we have been  following are:

• Boston is still considered a surrounding community for both proposals, but Boston officials might be able to change that status in the coming weeks to a host community. In a letter to the editor in the East Boston and Charlestown newspapers that appeared this week, Mayor Martin Walsh has vowed to continue to seek every avenue in making Boston classified as a host community.

• The second development is that seven communities Monday petitioned to be considered as surrounding communities and are seeking a share of the mitigation monies.  Included in this list for the Wynn Resorts are Boston, Chelsea, Cambridge, Melrose, Saugus, Lynn and Somerville.

Malden has an agreement in place with Wynn, while Boston and Medford have been approved as surrounding communities by Wynn. Medford has agreed with its designation as a surrounding community.

In our opinion, Melrose, Somerville, Lynn and Cambridge  communities seem to be a stretch for surrounding community status.  But time will tell.

As the clock ticks toward the May awarding date for the casino license, Boston still has the best case for a larger mitigation package.

In a recent news story, Walsh has said that Wynn representatives have not been cooperative with his administration about the casino plans.

We urge Wynn representatives to be as forthcoming as possible and be as generous as possible with a mitigation package.  Walsh is seeking the same compensation as Mayor Thomas Menino agreed to as a host community. Walsh’s proposal will not fly — but give him credit for trying.

A much lesser amount seems to be in order.  Could that amount be in the range of $5 million to $15 million?

The proposal that will probably be approved by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission is the one that really takes care of not only the host community, but the surrounding communities.  The Gaming Commission will be probably looking at not only monies but also infrastructure repairs for roads in surrounding communities leading to these casinos.  Again Boston should qualify for more aid than one might think at first.

We would like to say to Boston officials, “Keep your hands off our project.” But in this day and age that would probably doom the project, because Boston will be impacted by it.

We urge Wynn officials to give a serious look at how to reasonably mitigate an adverse impact to Boston residents.