East Boston rejects Suffolk Downs casino proposal

Renderings of the future Suffolk Downs Hotel and Casino. PHOTO CREDIT: Suffolk Downs
Renderings show the proposed Suffolk Downs Hotel and Casino. Credit: Suffolk Downs

Voters in East Boston rejected on Tuesday a controversial proposal to locate a resort casino in their neighborhood. 

A referendum to move forward with plans to build a resort casino at Suffolk Downs was defeated, with about 56 percent of voters rejecting the measure.

The expanded gambling law required that the community in which the gaming facility would be located hold a vote to approve a Host Community Agreement negotiated between the facility and the city or town.

The vote is a blow to Mayor Thomas Menino in his final months in office. Menino had worked to secure the Host Community Agreement with Suffolk Downs and said he supported the plan for the East Boston casino.

Because the track stretches into Revere, that city also held a vote on its own Host Community Agreement. Results of that vote were not immediately available as of press time, but Suffolk Downs officials indicated that Revere voters approved the plan.

“We will reassess our plans based on tonight’s results,” Chip Tuttle, the chief operating officer of Suffolk Downs said in a statement.

Suffolk Downs suffered a setback last month when Caesars Entertainment received an unfavorable report from the state and was dropped from the partnership.

Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.


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