Suffolk Downs

Suffolk Downs

Chip Bott

Suffolk Downs Ruled Suitable to Pursue Casino

The Massachusetts racetrack now must find a new casino partner, and quickly.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission Oct. 29 ruled Suffolk Downs suitable to pursue a license for a destination resort casino.

It was a major step forward for Suffolk Downs, which recently asked its casino partner, Caesars Entertainment, to vacate the project because of concerns by the MGC, which conducted background checks on those involved in the application.

"As a result of a comprehensive background investigation, an adjudicatory proceeding, and deliberation conducted by the five-member gaming commission, the commission finds by a unanimous vote that the applicant, Sterling Suffolk LLC, as presently constituted, has met its burden of proof and is issued a positive determination of suitability, with certain conditions," the MGC said in a statement.

Under the conditions, Suffolk Downs must now identify a new casino developer, one that must be found suitable by the MGC; and the track must work with its host community to bring on a new operator. The host communities will vote Nov. 5 on whether Suffolk will be allowed to build a casino on the property.

In its decision, the MGC credited Suffolk Downs for "swift, decisive action" after it found out the results of the background check on its casino partner. Among the MGC's concerns was "the highly leveraged financial position" of Caesars, an international gaming and entertainment company.