The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) voted unanimously – 4-0 – to move ahead with the issuing of gaming licenses despite a November ballot question that could wipe out casino gaming altogether.
Commissioner Jim McHugh led the charge is saying it only makes sense to stay the course.
“Proceeding now make good sense and is good public policy,” he said.
Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and several Boston elected officials had called on the MGC last week to delay the awarding of a casino license in the Greater Boston region until after the November ballot question is settled.
The point was argued for Boston on Wednesday – in a meeting at the Bunker Hill Community College’s Charlestown Campus – by former Charlestown and Chelsea State Rep. Gene O’Flaherty.
O’Flaherty is now the corporation counsel for Boston and was charged with arguing the point for Mayor Walsh in calling for the delay.
Also giving testimony was Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria and attorneys from casino applicants Wynn Resorts and Mohegan Sun.
Following the unanimous vote, the MGC also voted unanimously to have Boston begin its Surrounding Community Agreement (SCA) arbitration process on July 3.
Every other SCA in the arbitration process, including Somerville and Chelsea, has been decided.
The fifth commissioner, Steve Crosby, was not part of the discussion as he recused himself from the Greater Boston region casino process earlier this year.