State Gaming Commission members voted unanimously last Tuesday, Dec. 10 to allow a waiver for Suffolk Downs and Mohegan Sun to hold a second voter referendum in Revere, clearing a path for a new Revere only casino plan on land owned by Suffolk Downs.
Under the plan, Mohegan Sun and the city of Revere must file for the waiver with the Massachusetts Gaming Commission within the next 10 days. Mohegan Sun will then be required to come to agreement on a new host agreement with Revere, the terms of which would go before voters in a second special election on casinos, most likely in February 2014.
The latest ruling by the Gaming Commission maintains a competitive atmosphere for the sole Expanded Gaming License in eastern Massachusetts, along with Wynn Resorts’ proposed Everett casino proposal.
An earlier proposal to build a resort casino at Suffolk Downs in East Boston and Revere was defeated on November 5, 2013, when East Boston voters said no to the proposal.
Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy said that she has been in discussions with Revere and Suffolk Downs owners for the past several weeks about including Lynn as an impacted or surrounding community, for the purposes of garnering a mitigation package for Lynn for the anticipated traffic impacts that will be created by the casino.
“We have been working cooperatively with the city of Revere to support their bid to bring a casino to Revere at Suffolk Downs,” said Mayor Kennedy. “Though I see a potential downside due to the traffic concerns, I also see some potential benefits, particularly on the waterfront. I am very optimistic we can get a hotel in Lynn if the casino is built in Revere.”
Mayor Kennedy also noted that the Greater Lynn Chamber of Commerce has also been in discussions with the Revere Chamber of Commerce to discuss ways the business communities in both cities can cooperate and market themselves together, not just with the casino, but with all of its local businesses.
“I really see an opportunity to collaborate and regionalize our efforts in promoting business in both of our cities and across the region,” she said.
However, Revere voters had enthusiastically supported that proposal and Mayor Daniel Rizzo of Revere has been working with Suffolk Downs and the state ever since to find a way to keep alive the hopes of a casino at Suffolk Downs.