Revere voters approve Mohegan Sun’s racecourse casino proposal

Voters in Revere, Mass., have approved Mohegan Sun’s proposal to build a $1.3 billion casino at the Suffolk Downs racecourse, the Hartford Courant reported Tuesday. More

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Revere voters approve Mohegan Sun’s racecourse casino proposal

COURTESY SUFFOLK DOWNS
MOHEGAN SUN'S proposal for a resort casino at the Suffolk Downs racetrack in Revere, Mass., won 63 percent of the vote in a Tuesday referendum to approve or reject the plan. Above, an artist's rendering of the proposed casino, which would include 4,000 slot machines, 100 table games and a poker room.
Posted 2/26/14

BOSTON – Voters in Revere, Mass., have approved Mohegan Sun’s proposal to build a $1.3 billion casino at the Suffolk Downs racecourse, the Hartford Courant reported Tuesday.

Residents of Revere approved the original Suffolk Downs plan – which involved a $1 billion casino at its racecourse straddling the East Boston-Revere border – in a vote last November. After the project failed to win support among voters in East Boston, however, Suffolk Downs reworked the plan to move the casino entirely onto the Revere side of the property and partnered with Mohegan Sun as the casino’s operator.

During a Dec. 10 hearing, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission argued that another public referendum was required to prove that the residents of Revere agreed with the changes that Suffolk Downs and Mohegan made to the original plan.

The unofficial vote tally was 7,169 in favor, 4,172 against, according to the Courant report, with Mohegan winning 63 percent of the vote. The Boston Herald reported last week that Mohegan Sun spent $400,000 on a campaign promoting the project before Tuesday’s vote.

“People in Revere really have spoken here. They really let their voice be heard,” Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority CEO Mitchell Etess told the Courant.

Under Revere’s host community agreement, the city would receive between $25 million and $30 million from the Suffolk Downs casino each year, according to a Boston Business Journal report.

Mohegan Sun’s final proposal would locate the casino on 42 acres in Revere, about one-half mile from the horse track in East Boston. The Boston Business Journal said the facility would feature 4,000 slot machines and 100 table games.

Also contending for the sole Boston-area gaming license is Wynn Resorts Ltd., which has proposed a $1.6 billion casino along the Mystic River in Everett, Mass., where residents overwhelmingly approved the plan in a vote last June.

The other contender for the Boston-area license, Foxwoods affiliate Crossroads Massachusetts LLC, lost its bid for a casino in Milford when two-thirds of town residents rejected the proposal in a Nov. 19 vote.

Last month, Foxwoods announced that it will seek to build a resort casino in Fall River instead.

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