State gaming commission hears pitches on Revere, Everett casino proposals

The two companies competing for the Greater Boston resort casino license made their best pitches this afternoon to the five commissioners charged with awarding the lucrative license, in two very different styles.

In a well-coordinated presentation, Mohegan Sun stressed the company’s long New England roots and familiarity with the local gambling market, to support its proposal for a casino in Revere on land leased from Suffolk Downs.

By contrast, Steve Wynn, chairman of Wynn Resorts, speaking off the cuff, advocated for a casino in Everett by standing on his personal record as a designer and operator of some of the most famous hotels in Las Vegas, including The Mirage, Bellagio and Wynn and Encore.

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Mohegan Sun worked several years to win a casino license in the Western Massachusetts town of Palmer, but lost a referendum there in November and quickly changed gears and struck a deal to lease land in Revere from Suffolk Downs racetrack for a gambling resort.

Suffolk Downs also lost a casino referendum in November, in East Boston. But Revere voters approved the project, and track officials almost immediately began to explore ways to move any casino plans at the thoroughbred track across the city line into Revere.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is treating the Mohegan Sun proposal as a new project, and it waived one of its deadlines so Revere can hold a citywide referendum on the new proposal Feb. 25.

After unsuccessfully pitching a suburban gambling resort in Foxborough in early 2012, Wynn later proposed an urban hotel casino on vacant former industrial land on the Mystic River in Everett. City voters overwhelmingly endorsed the proposal in a referendum in June, with 86 percent in favor.

The one applicant for the Western Massachusetts resort casino license, MGM Resorts, will make its presentation to the commission Thursday morning, a day later than originally scheduled, due to snow. The MGM presentation team will be led by chief executive James Murren and president Bill Hornbuckle.