It was a $27 million decision that didn’t swing Chelsea’s way when the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) chose Wynn Resorts in Everett over Mohegan Sun in Revere on Tuesday.
And the sentiment in Chelsea due to that loss is one of unilateral disappointment.
City Manager Jay Ash said going with Wynn is disappointing to him in that Chelsea will see $27 million less in mitigation payments over the 15-year license term.
“I’m very disappointed with the decision, as I believed Mohegan Sun to have a superior proposal and a better appreciation of the impact their casino could have in the region,” he said on Tuesday. “That said, I plan on staying on top of the situation and will continue to advocate within the process to recapture as much of those lost potential proceeds as possible. I can’t say enough good things about the relationship that Mohegan Sun and Suffolk Downs offered to us in Chelsea. I’m very disappointed that their great vision will not be realized, but so very much appreciate how they treated every concern that Chelsea had with the greatest of attention.”
Ash said he was very impressed by Revere’s mayor, Dan Rizzo, and said he had done his best to represent the interests of the region.
“I’d like to thank Mayor Dan Rizzo of Revere for his significant efforts, which included always looking out for the best interests of Chelsea and the region,” said Ash. “While he lost a very important project, he gained a tremendous amount of respect from government and business types that will no doubt stand the city of Revere in good stead as it moves on.”
City Council President Matt Frank – who had been the Council’s envoy to the casino process – said he was also very disappointed, especially considering Wynn’s trouble with surrounding communities like Chelsea.
I am disappointed that Mohegan Sun was passed up,” he said. “I was impressed with their willingness and desire to mitigate issues Chelsea may have seen with the construction of a local casino. Chelsea already spends more per capita on lottery tickets than any other municipality in the Commonwealth and Mohegan was willing to assist us with gambling addiction issues both for those addicted to casino gambling and for those who have an unhealthy relationship with lottery spending. Unfortunately in our meetings with Wynn they did not seem as committed to fostering those same sorts of results. I do not believe the settlement we were granted is enough to mitigate the issues the city will face, let alone benefit from it. Considering that more than half of their neighboring communities have had issues with Wynn, I am honestly a little shocked that the Commission granted the license to them.”