Suffolk Downs

Suffolk Downs

Chip Bott

Date Set for Vote on Suffolk Casino Project

The Revere, Mass., city council has set Feb. 25, 2014, as the date for an election.

The Revere, Mass., city council has set Feb. 25, 2014, as the date for a referendum election on the city's host community agreement with Mohegan Sun for a proposed $1 billion casino at Suffolk Downs racetrack.

The host community agreement announced Dec. 23 would guarantee the city between $25 million and $30 million in revenue per year from the proposed casino. The deal also provides up to $33 million in pre-opening payments, about $40 million in infrastructure improvements, new athletic fields, guaranteed school funding, and money for public safety, a community center, and other benefits, according to a release from Suffolk Downs.

Revere already approved the casino project for Suffolk Downs, but the community on which the majority of the racetrack property sitsEast Bostonrejected location of a casino on track property. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission subsequently ruled another vote in Revere is necessary.

Suffolk Downs and Mohegan Sun plan a $1 billion resort casino on 42 of the track's 52 acres that sit in Revere; more than 100 acres of the property sit in East Boston and the project is viewed as critical to the future of the racetrack.

"For close to 80 years, the city of Revere has been a great partner and host to Suffolk Downs," Chip Tuttle, chief operating officer of Suffolk Downs, said in a release. "This campaign will be about affirming the strong support Revere has already shown for a resort casino and the preservation of Thoroughbred racing at Suffolk Downs."

"The level of excitement this project is creating and the support we are getting from people all over Revere is remarkable," Mitchell Etess, CEO of the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, said in a statement. "We're going to work hard to earn the approval of voters in the same way we are working hard to create an amazing destination and deliver a winning application to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission."