Suffolk Downs

Suffolk Downs

Chip Bott

Suffolk Downs Has Deal With Mohegan Sun

Massachusetts track hopes to build casino on its 52 acres that sit in Revere.

Suffolk Downs remained in the running for a casino license with the Nov. 27 announcement it has reached an agreement with Mohegan Sun, which operates gaming facilities in Connecticut, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

Mohegan Sun had planned to develop a casino elsewhere in Massachusetts but was denied local approval. The gaming concern has, however, already been determined suitable to hold a license by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.

Suffolk Downs parted ways with its previous partner, Caesars Entertainment, and then lost a casino referendum in East Boston, which hosts most of the racetrack property. Another 52 acresthe barn area is on part of the landare located in Revere, whose voters approved casino gambling.

Track officials said the new plan calls for a casino on 42 acres of the Revere parcel. The MGC must first decide whether to approve the shift given the result of the vote in East Boston, where the casino was to be built.

"Our strong partnership with Revere goes back over seven decades, and today's announcement begins a new exciting chapter," Suffolk Downs chief operating officer Chip Tuttle said in a release. "When completed, our agreement will reflect this community's desire for economic development, jobs, community improvements, and small business partnerships that this development proposal will bring."

"This is a historic day for the city of Revere, Suffolk Downs, and all of New England," said Richard Fields, principal owner of Suffolk Downs. "By choosing Mohegan Sun as our resort casino developer and operator, we bring new energy and excitement to our pursuit of a gaming license—and a leader and premier brand in resort casino gaming that has been hugely successful in New England for 17 years."
Mohegan Sun has a tie to horse racing via Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, a Wilkes-Barre, Pa.-area harness track that has full casino gambling and a recently built hotel.
Suffolk Downs officials said Mohegan Sun has a "strategic partnership" with Brigade Capital Management, which also has been deemed suitable by the MGC.
The actual casino design is in the works. In addition, Suffolk Downs must amend its previous host-community deal with Revere, and also must reach agreements with surrounding communities, including East Boston.
The MGC plans to select one casino licensee for the Boston area early in 2014. Suffolk Downs already has been approved for 100 live racing days next year, but the meet could hinge on the result of the award of the casino license.