East Boston vote won’t stop new Suffolk Downs project, officials say
Officials from Revere, Suffolk Downs and Mohegan Sun voiced confidence Monday morning when talking about a new resort casino project to be located solely in the city, saying surrounding communities cannot put a stop to the new plan.
“We feel very good about our partnership here,” said Chip Tuttle, the chief operating officer of Suffolk Downs. “The gaming commission has been very clear that host communities have the abilities to move a project forward; surrounding communities don’t have the ability to stop a project. We want to have positive relationship with all of our surrounding communities.”
It’s still unclear if the Massachusetts Gaming Commission will approve a plan forged by the just days-old partnership between Suffolk Downs and Mohegan Sun after a vote on a Host Community Agreement between East Boston and Revere — the track failed in East Boston but passed in Revere. Mohegan Sun had also failed to secure a vote of confidence from voters in Palmer, where it had initially planned to locate a casino.
“We have a valid Host Community Agreement in Revere, we have a valid land use question in Revere, and we look forward to moving ahead,” Tuttle said.
The new project would be located on 42 acres in Revere and would not be connected to the track, officials said. Officials said they had few details about plans for the casino or what it would look like, and offered no renderings during a Monday news conference. However, Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority CEO Mitchell Etess said the Revere casino would be a “national and international tourist destination.”
Officials, including Revere Mayor Dan Rizzo, said they believe, despite the new partnership and amendments to the Host Community Agreement, that a new vote is not needed.
As the new sole host community, Revere would be entitled to all of the benefits of a financial sharing agreement between the casino and the city.
Tuttle said he hopes to work with Boston now as a surrounding community instead of a host community.
The gaming commission has a hearing scheduled for Tuesday morning, when it will discuss the Suffolk Downs project.
Projects have until the end of the month to submit plans to be considered for one of three resort casino licenses the commission can award.
Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.