You can’t help but feel bad for Suffolk Downs chief operating officer Chip Tuttle and the others who have been working for years to bring a casino to the moribund racetrack — even if you dislike gaming as much as I do. Tuttle came by Wednesday to talk about the project, and he looked like he’d been hit by a massive sucker punch – two, actually.
I wanted to give him a big hug. But no one should embrace his idea for salvaging the Suffolk Downs casino proposal.
The first blow landed in October, when Massachusetts Gaming Commission investigators balked at Caesars, the Las Vegas giant that was to run the gleaming palace, because of a sketchy business partner. Then last week, voters in East Boston stunned many by rejecting the casino altogether.
But Suffolk Downs will not take that blast of good sense for an answer. Sure, East Boston voted no, they say, but Revere, the neighboring community where part of their land also sits, voted yes. So they’re going to simply pick up the proposed casino and move it over the municipal line, so that it’s entirely on the Revere side. This, they claim, means Boston will no longer be a host community, so it has no say.
Tuttle says this “respects” the wishes of East Boston voters. Actually, it mocks them, and the democratic process. Eastie casino opponents are incensed, with good cause.
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