On Monday, Massachusetts' Governor Deval Patrick announced plans for the state to begin considering private bids for three casinos, to be strategically located in Southeastern Massachusetts, Western Massachusetts, and an area which would include Boston and points north.
The proposal will be subject to ratification by both legislative houses and would also involve implementing new laws regarding establishing a gaming commission, consideration of social issues, and compensation to communities surrounding the casinos with regard to increased traffic, safety, and infrastructure issues, for example.
Nevertheless, the Suffolk Downs' management team immediately threw its hat into the bidding process for the Boston-area casino, hoping to build a multi-use complex which would include a hotel, restaurants, retail stores, as well as an entertainment complex, in addition to the already existing racing facility. Earlier this year, Richard Fields purchased a controlling interest in the East Boston track, promising to return Suffolk to its former status as one of the premier tracks in the country.
Bill Mulrow, Chairman of the Board, had this to say of Gov. Patrick's proposal. "We see the Governor's announcement as a chance to show why Suffolk Downs fits well into his vision for the future of gaming in the state. As a site for a resort-style casino, historic Suffolk Downs offers several unique benefits. Our proximity to Logan Airport positions us to attract thousands of new visitors to Massachusetts each year. In addition, Suffolk Downs could create thousands of permanent new jobs and generate hundreds of millions of dollars in new city and state tax revenues. Our existing infrastructure and workforce would enable Suffolk Downs to provide these revenues within months of state authorization."
Newly appointed COO, Chip Tuttle, added, "Suffolk downs is a trusted community partner in East Boston and Revere, supporting a wide range of local vendors and businesses, and a gaming development could bolster the ongoing urban revitalization of these two communities. With the support of new ownership, Suffolk Downs is leading the effort to revitalize Thoroughbred racing in New England, including bringing back the MassCap this Saturday. We believe the addition of a world-class, resort-style casino would bring significant benefits to the city and the state."
As of now, there are no plans for the Patrick administration to allow slot machines at the state's Thoroughbred, harness, and dog tracks without gaining one of the three casino licenses.