Suffolk Downs

Suffolk Downs

Chip Bott

Suffolk, Caesars Reach Agreement With Boston

Officials call it a critical step in their pursuit of a gaming license.

Suffolk Downs reported progress Aug. 27 in its quest for a casino license.

The Massachusetts racetrack and Caesars Entertainment said they reached a host community agreement with the City of Boston–a critical step in the pursuit of a license to jointly develop a casino resort on track property in East Boston. The agreement provides the city with significant employment opportunities for local residents, infrastructure improvements, and other economic and community benefits, the partner said in a release.

The agreement was announced by Boston Mayor Thomas Menino. According to the partners, there have been more than 100 public meetings on the Suffolk Downs casino proposal.

Live racing would continue at Suffolk Downs as part of the casino plan.

"We are proud of the strong partnership we have built with Boston as well as our neighboring communities," said Joe O'Donnell, principal owner of Suffolk Downs. "Our proposed development will directly benefit Boston with annual payments as well as up-front investments in schools, parks, vital services, and transportation improvements.

"We have a tremendous opportunity to develop a resort that befits Boston and complements the vibrant array of cultural, historic, and entertainment offerings that exist here," Caesars chairman, president, and chief executive officer Gary Loveman said. "Boston is ideally suited for our city-integrated resort model, which is designed to reflect the distinct attributes of the host communities and drive maximum economic impact to residents and businesses.

As part of its agreement with Boston, the developers have made upfront and ongoing financial commitments to each community. Estimated combined annual payments are expected to be $52 million a year when the facility is fully operational.

There has been an ongoing battle by casino developers for the Boston-area gaming license.