Gov. Deval Patrick gave kudos to Boston Mayor Tom Menino for working out a deal with Suffolk Downs and Caesar’s Entertainment that would bring in at least $32 million annually, along with traffic improvements and an up-front payment of $33.4 million for East Boston.
“He’s clearly very proud of it, and it’s something that he wanted to wrap before he leaves office, and kudos to him for getting it done. Now the community gets to speak to the question, and ultimately the Gaming Commission gets to speak to the question,” Patrick, an integral player in crafting and passing the state’s expanded gambling law, told reporters Wednesday.
He said some of the casino revenue would be used “so that we can invest in transportation and education.” The host-community agreements signed by Menino and Revere Mayor Dan Rizzo allow the question to go to voters, a necessity for the proposal to move onto the next phase of licensure.
Suffolk is competing with a Wynn Resorts proposal in Everett, which garnered 86 percent support among the city’s voters, and a Foxwoods proposal in Milford that is still in negotiations.
The Gaming Commission expects to select the two casino developers for the eastern and western parts of the state by April. A slots license will be awarded in December or February, depending on whether there are disputes with surrounding municipalities, according to the commission.
- A. Metzger/SHNS