The Race for City Hall

Walczak: Caesars selling Boston ‘a bill of goods’ on casino

Mayoral candidate Bill Walczak, who has made opposition to a Suffolk Downs casino a key part of his platform, today blasted the track’s casino partner, Caesars Entertainment, over the company’s “heavy debt load of $24 billion.”

“Caesars situation is so dire that the Wall Street Journal characterized Caesars as having an unsustainable debt load that has brought its shares near junk status,” the campaign said in a statement.

Walczak questioned whether Caesars will honor the terms of the host agreement the developers have signed with the City of Boston, which promises the city payments of at least $32 million per year.

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“Boston is being sold a bill of goods by a company that is in real financial trouble,” Walczak said in the statement. “With no real enforcement mechanism in place for all that is outlined in the host community agreement, Caesars can just decide to not fulfill its promises.”

Caesars is a minority partner in the development, holding about a 4 percent stake in the project. If Suffolk Downs wins the sole Greater Boston resort casino license, Caesars would be paid a fee to run the gambling resort. Voters in the East Boston neighborhood and in Revere are expected to vote Nov. 5 — the same day as the final election for Boston mayor—whether to allow the casino proposal to proceed to the final stage of the competition.

A Caesars spokesman said in response that the company has nearly $2 billion in cash on its balance sheet, has recently completed several development projects and has more under way.

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