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Everett Official: Medford Will Be at Table on Casino

Everett City Councilor Michael McLaughlin said some local concerns over casinos may be premature.

A city councilor from Everett reached out to all seven Medford city councilors this week after concerns were raised about the impact of a casino in Everett on its neighboring city.

Everett Ward 6 Councilor Michael J. McLaughlin said he read Medford Patch's story out of Tuesday's Medford City Council meeting and wanted to open the lines of communication between the two cities on the topic.

"The Medford City Council needs to understand that we don't know much more about the casino proposal at this point than they do," McLaughlin told Patch this week in a phone interview.

McLaughlin represents the area where a casino has been proposed for construction in Everett.

Earlier this month, the Boston Globe reported casino mogul Steve Wynn has designs to build a $1 billion hotel tower along the Mystic River to go with a 24-hour casino at the location in Everett.

In addition, the Globe reported Suffolk Downs is also vying for what would be the only casino license to be awarded in the Greater Boston area.

Several Medford city councilors, including Robert Penta, Richard Caraviello and Michael Marks, denounced the idea of nearby casinos Tuesday and worried about the impact on Medford's business, transportation and environmental climates.

Marks said he understood Route 16, a major traffic artery for Medford, would be the main entrance for the proposed site of an Everett casino.

McLaughlin said that was a "true statement," but the true impact of the casino on the whole area, including Medford, still is not known.

He hoped Medford councilors would share their concerns with Everett in addition to the state Gaming Commission and Medford legislators.

"This is a regional project," he said. "It affects everyone in the area and everyone should have a voice at the table."

McLaughlin is a proponent of the casino project, stating in a press release he shared with Patch that it would "bring thousands of jobs" to Everett as well as "millions of dollars in taxes and improvements in the overall quality of life" in the city.

Medford councilors who opposed the project Tuesday feared the economic and social impact of a casino with Caraviello saying casinos "suck the life out of communities in a 10-mile area."

Evmorphia Stratis January 25, 2013 at 03:50 PM
Does everyone want to work in a casino? thousands of jobs? have you done your research Michael? How can I have a voice at the table when it seems almost all the elected officials from Everett are for the casino, and keep trying to convince the people of Everett why it is such a wonderful idea!

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