By Seth Daniel
A heated, internal battle in Revere between a slot parlor developer and the mayor of that City has now migrated to Everett with Wynn Boston Harbor officially opposing Question 1 on the November ballot – a question that seeks to put an additional slot parlor near a horsetrack, with the only true proposal for that parlor being adjacent to Suffolk Downs in Revere.
The Wynn Boston Harbor folks signaled before leaving for a large Wynn grand opening in China that they would likely be coming out against Question 1, which would likely open the door to an Asian developer being able to petition the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) to put a slot parlor license about two miles from the Wynn site. Last week, they made that stance official, saying they stood with the Mayor of Revere, Brian Arrigo, and other leaders in opposition to the statewide ballot question.
“We agree with Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Revere Mayor Brian Arrigo, and the other state officials who are opposed to ballot question #1 and the expansion of slot parlors in Massachusetts,” said Bob DeSalvio, president of Wynn Boston Harbor. “The voters have already spoken on this issue and the decision has been made. For an overseas developer to use a ballot question to bypass the gaming law is unacceptable and Wynn is opposed to this effort.”
Earlier this month, Revere Mayor Brian Arrigo officially voiced his opposition to the effort of the developer, Gene McCain, and his organization, the Revere Jobs and Education Committee. That City actually went so far as to file court action to prevent a local special election that would have allowed the land – now a trailer park and a bar room – to be designated as a gaming site ahead of the November vote.
“Revere is a community poised for a renaissance,” he said in a statement signed by other Revere City leaders. “Revere has a major opportunity to build a sustainable local economy; strengthen its tight-knit neighborhoods; and provide top-notch, efficient city services. The fly-by-night ‘proposal’ to build a slot parlor on Revere Beach Parkway would not be beneficial to the City, and in fact could undermine the progress Revere has made toward reinventing its image.”
DeSalvio said he didn’t believe Question 1 supported the intent of the Expanded Gaming Law, and certainly wasn’t fair to an organization like Wynn that spent three years working through the licensing process.
“It certainly wasn’t the intention of our lawmakers who worked long and hard to determine the process when the legislation was thoughtfully written five years ago,” he said. “Wynn Resorts completed a three-year licensing process and has spent more than $300 million to date on Wynn Boston Harbor and we expect the rules that we all agreed to from day one to be followed. It doesn’t make any business or common sense to even entertain adding a new slot parlor before waiting for the licensed casino resorts to open and evaluating their results and impacts.”