Suffolk Downs unveils casino proposal
As negotiators in the state Legislature prepared to hash out a final gambling bill, the owners of the Suffolk Downs race track today unveiled their proposal for a resort-stye casino at the East Boston facility.
Track owners said if given permission to operate, they could immediately create as many as 2,000 construction jobs and another 2,250 permanent jobs once the gaming complex is open.
In addition, Tuttle said the owners would undertake a "major renovation" of the current horse-racing facility, including the grandstand and clubhouse.
"We'd like to compete for a license to do a resort-style destination, a world class gaming facility with horse racing as a center piece,'' said Tuttle at the track today. "We look at this is a large job creation, revenue creation, and enhancer of the local tourism economy."
Suffolk Downs is seen by many political observers as having a strong chance of winning a gaming license should the Legislature approve expanding gambling. The race track is in the district of House Speaker Robert DeLeo, a strong proponent of gaming who led his chamber's approval of casino bill earlier this year. DeLeo's father once worked at the track. Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino also supports Suffolk Downs.
The Massachusetts House plan would legalize two casinos and allow the state's four racetracks to host slot machines. Suffolk Downs, however, intends to pursue a full casino license. Meanwhile the state Senate last week voted to authorize three resort casinos in three separate locations, but did not include any special consideration for the race tracks.