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To Gamble or Not to Gamble? Everett Residents May Soon Have to Decide

The 40-acre industrial lot near the Mystic River, in Everett MA was the former site of the Monsanto Chemical plant. But if Everett’s mayor, Carlo DeMaria has his vision made a reality it could be the site of Massachusetts first major, resort casino. But will it bring everything hoped for and more for the small city of Everett? The idea of new development and job creation is great for the state and community, but can it really be successful?

The location has the potential to be ideal to attract patrons as Route 99 and Route 16 touches neighboring Charlestown and Somerville and also connects to major highway 93. But with heavy renovating of the bridge and pot-hole riddled roads it could just cause major traffic jams. The bridge on Route 16 has been under renovations for over 3 years now and already causes delays during heavy traffic periods, but it is the best and quickest route into the city after the heavy traffic periods. If the casino was developed there, it would be traffic 24 hours a day! And with public transportation close by, you can expect plenty of foot traffic as well.

Another hiccup in the plans to develop the property there, will be winning for the exclusive gaming and casino license granted to the Commonwealth. Not only is Everett up for consideration, but other,perhaps better contenders include the Suffolk Downs in Revere, MA and areas in Western MA. But there is interest for sure, and from some of the most known faces of the gaming world. According to Herald.com, mega Las Vegas casino developer Steve Wynn had visited and viewed the property  last month and just a few weeks ago appropriated a 14 month lease on the property.  Mayor DeMaria believes that Wynn would submit an application for the license as well as move forward and purchase the property. In hopes to quiet the residents concern with traffic, “……Wynn’s proposal would ­include $50 million to $100 million for traffic and infrastructure improvements, said De Maria.”  Also in talks of building a $1 billion resort casino in Suffolk Downs, is Caesars Entertainment and the Suffolk Down owners. It’s a big possibility that they will also be submitting an application for the one and only gaming license being awarded for Eastern Massachusetts.

Seemingly there is a number of pros and cons for the community. On one hand it could bring in millions of tax revenue, job creation and also be a major attraction in a blue collar town that has been regressing since the closing of plants and factories in the area. On the other hand it can bring a traffic nightmare, crime and the risk of being unsuccessful in generating anticipated revenue.

At this time, the gaming application deadline is in the second week of January 2013. Residents of Everett and Revere, would have to see how this works out next year among these major players.

 

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