Mohegan Sun casino friends, foes rally in Revere before Tuesday vote

boston revere mohegan sun suffolk downs vote rally casino
Hundreds of people marched from Immaculate Conception Church in Revere to Revere City Hall on Sunday chanting “No casino” just days ahead of the city’s second referendum on an agreement with Mohegan Sun.
Credit: Nicolaus Czarnecki, Metro

As Revere residents prepare to head to the polls on Tuesday for a final roll of the dice, both sides on the city’s casino issue feel they have the odds in their favor.

Voters in Revere on Tuesday will decide whether to approve of a Host Community Agreement with Mohegan Sun on a $1.3 billon resort casino at Suffolk Downs. It is the second time Revere residents have been asked to vote on hosting a casino in their city.

“We really feel good about it,” said Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority CEO Mitchell Etess. “It passed pretty well last time, but I think we’ve run a pretty thorough campaign and we’ve been getting the message out there.”

On the last weekend day before the special referendum, both sides held rallies on Sunday to urge people to get out and vote.

The group Friends of Mohegan Sun, which has received $400,000 from the gaming company since January, held a rally that resembled more of a luncheon at the Joseph Mottolo VFW hall in Revere. Casino supporters were given T-shirts and sat at large round banquet tables where they ate a lunch of chicken fingers, chowder and roast beef sandwiches from Kelly’s.

boston revere mohegan sun suffolk downs vote rally casino
The VFW hall in Revere was packed with Mohegan Sun casino supporters who feasted on Kelly’s Roast Beef during a rally just days before voters decide on an agreement for a resort casino at Suffolk Downs.
Credit: Nicolaus Czarnecki, Metro

Besides executives from Mohegan Sun and Suffolk Downs, Revere Mayor Dan Rizzo also attended the pro-casino rally. He spoke with some of the people as they ate and shook hands.

Earlier Sunday, hundreds of casino opponents marched from the Immaculate Conception Church to Revere City Hall. Led by a marching band, the group held signs and chanted “No casino.”

“If you asked us back in January if we thought we could beat this, we would say probably not. But since then our confidence has been super boosted and we’re feeling more and more confident that we have a chance and can beat this,” said Joseph Catricala, a co-chair of the group Don’t Gamble on Revere.

During Sunday’s rally, lifelong Revere resident Linda Aufiero said her family suffered from alcohol and gambling addictions and feared those problems would impact others in the community.

“Our family suffered a lot,” she said.

Tuesday’s vote comes after the state gaming commission granted a waiver to Mohegan Sun in December as it considered the outcome of November’s split vote in which East Boston rejected the casino agreement and Revere approved of it. Revere voters approved of the initial agreement by a vote of 6,566 to 4,232.

After that vote, Mohegan Sun teamed with Suffolk Downs and created a new proposal that shifted the entire project onto 42 acres on the Revere side of the track.

Both sides make the same case for and against the casino that they did before the November vote. Supporters said the casino would mean jobs, financial comfort and a transformation for Revere. Opponents argue there will be more negative consequences than benefits that come with a casino like crime, traffic and robbing the city of its identity.

Even if voters approve of the agreement on Tuesday, it does not mean Revere is guaranteed a resort casino.

Mohegan Sun is competing with Wynn Resorts, which is planning a $1.6 billion project in Everett. Everett voters have already approved of the plan there during a vote in June.

If the vote fails, it means Wynn would not have competition for the Eastern Massachusetts casino license. If the plan succeeds, it means the state gaming commission will have to determine which gaming company gets the license. A decision is expected at the end of May.

“We’re hoping everyone makes the right choice,” Etess said.

Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.


Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.


Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…


OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…


MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.


Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."


'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.


'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."


TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.


Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.


Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.


Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”


Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.


Givenchy champions diversity

Riccardo Tisci's uses a variety of ethnically diverse ladies for his spring campaign including Erykah Badu.


Don't settle for the hotel fitness center with…

Travelers who want to skip the hotel fitness center in favor of local gyms that may offer better equipment, classes and amenities can turn to…


Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.


Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…