A Mohegan Sun casino proposal at Suffolk Downs appears closer to joining the competition for the Greater Boston resort casino license, after a majority of the state gambling commission signaled Tuesday that they would accept such a bid on the track’s property in Revere.
Allowing the Connecticut gambling company to pursue a new proposal at a new site on the Suffolk Downs property would preserve a sense of competition for the state’s most lucrative gambling license, while enraging opponents who beat back a casino at the track in East Boston in a Nov. 5 vote. It could also open the commission to a court challenge, because the project no longer resembles the proposal that was before Revere residents when they voted to support the bid on the same day.
Both votes were taken on the original proposal by Suffolk Downs, which straddles the city line, to build a casino on a portion of land that lies entirely within East Boston. Mohegan Sun was not involved in that proposal.
Officials from Suffolk Downs and Mohegan Sun maintain they have secured a valid referendum vote on a straightforward “land-use question” to permit casino gambling in Revere and a valid agreement with Revere city officials to host a casino. The host agreement was negotiated before the vote and will be revised to increase the benefits to the city to reflect the new circumstances, according to Suffolk Downs.
The gambling commission, which usually makes decisions through broad consensus, seemed uncomfortable Tuesday discussing an issue on which the members appeared split. The debate focused on the question of whether Revere’s Nov. 5 vote constitutes a legal endorsement of the new project.
You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month
Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.
- High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
- Convenient access across all of your devices
- Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
- Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
- Less than 25¢ a week