Boston Mayor Asks For Hold On Casino License Until Nov. Vote

The Bay State's highest court announced Tuesday that the people of Mass. will choose the fate of the state's casinos on the ballot in Nov.

On Thursday, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh asked the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to put a hold on granting a casino license.

This comes days after the Bay State's highest court decided that voters will decide the fate of the casino law on the ballot in November of 2014.

Mayor Walsh said that the state has already invested time and millions of dollars into casinos. He is in the process of negotiating community agreements with Revere and Everett, and doesn't want to waste opportunities on a law that may be repealed.

"This has been a difficult process for everyone involved. I appreciate the work of the Mass. Gaming Commission. Whether I agree with their decisions or not, I recognize the challenges they have faced and I appreciate their efforts," the mayor said. "We are simply asking that the Mass. Gaming Commission hold off on granting a license for this region until the voters decide whether or not to allow gaming in Massachusetts."

In the press conference, Mayor Walsh said he had not heard back from the commission about his request. He would also not comment on the status of the community agreement with either Revere or Everett.

Statement from Revere Mayor Dan Rizzo:

“I have the utmost respect for Mayor Walsh and appreciate his concerns; however, voters in Revere have come out twice in support of jobs, economic development, and new sources of revenue. We have complied with all laws as set forth in the legislation and have adhered to all rules of the commission. A timeline has been announced and they should stick with it.”

Statement from Bill Mulrow, Chairman of the Board, Suffolk Downs:

"On behalf of the family of workers at Suffolk Downs, we are dismayed by the approach the Mayor has chosen here in dealing with our tenant, Mohegan Sun Massachusetts, and its proposal to create jobs -- many of which would undoubtedly go to Boston residents. We have made a significant investment over the last several years to preserve jobs and to create opportunities for new ones while operating at a substantial deficit. Additional delays in the Gaming Commission's licensing decision will put our operation and our workforce at risk and we urge the Commission to stick to its announced timeline."

Statement from John Ribeiro, chairman of Repeal the Casino Deal:

“Now that it’s clear the people will have a chance to vote yes to repeal casinos, smart leaders like Mayor Walsh see the wisdom in slowing the Gaming Commission’s rush to the slots table. The economy is growing, cranes are up in every skyline in Massachusetts, jobs are coming back. The people of Massachusetts know we can do better and the people should be heard before any decisions are made.”

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