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Suffolk Downs dropping Caesars from casino bid

Nothing like a little Friday-evening bombshell: Suffolk Downs is giving casino giant Caesars the boot, just weeks before East Boston voters are supposed to decide whether to approve the idea of a $1-billion resort casino next to the racetrack.

In a letter to the casino operator (attached below), Suffolk Downs COO Chip Tuttle said an investigation by the state Gaming Commission's Investigations and Enforcement Bureau raised serious questions about Caesar's suitability to manage the casino and two hotels that Suffolk Downs wants to build.

At a community forum just three days ago, Tuttle had said his company had picked Caesars as its partner because the casino operator had developed industry "best practices," in particular for running casinos in urban areas. Opponents were urging voters to reject the proposed host agreement in part because of questions about Caesar's large amount of debt.

Even if it wins the Nov. 5 referendum, Suffolk Downs could still lose out on the casino; eastern Massachusetts will get only one casino and the state will consider competing proposals from operators in Everett and Milford.

East Boston voters decide Nov. 5 whether to approve an agreement between Suffolk Downs and the city that would let Suffolk Downs continue its application to the state for eastern Massachusetts's one casino license. A competing casino operator recently won Everett approval for a casino there

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PDF icon Tuttle's letter to Caesars100.9 KB

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Comments

I am so happy about this turn of events.

Like, World Series 2004 happy.

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I was fairly agnostic about the Suffolk Downs, but between this and the Vornado connection, it's obvious these guys shouldn't be trusted with this kind of potentially neighborhood-destroying venture. With that said, I will miss the horses when the track is inevitably shut down in a few years.

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I haven't heard anything about them divesting their 19.9% ownership from their blind trust. This article from August points out what a mirage these background checks are if we don't even know who the investors are. So now East Boston will be voting on a development without knowing who 25% of the ownership will be (adding in Caesar's 5%) or who will be running the casino. Even if Suffolk Downs chooses a new partner in the next week that'll give us less than two weeks to figure out who they are before the vote.

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I believe there are 3 companies competing for the eastern ma gambling license, Foxwoods is working on a proposal in Milford.

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Guess I should know Milford is in the eastern part of the state - even if it is on the other side of 495.

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n/t

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Just east of 495. It will catch a lot of cross-state traffic. It won't add to Boston traffic congestion. Oh, if you think I'm singing its praises, I'm just pointing out facts. They've put a lot of work into the design and submissions.

http://casino.milford.ma.us/

http://www.milforddailynews.com/news/x1146192395/D...

http://www.boston.com/business/gallery/casinorende...

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If Ceasars finances scared the gaming commission, Foxwoods isn't going to fair any better. Wynn seems to be in the driver's seat right now.

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I think you must mean fare any better.

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The big question is whether they'll have to re-negotiate a host community agreement and re-schedule the vote or not. The gaming commission has made a habit of being very flexible with these developers, so it'll be interesting to see how they handle this.

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Ok, now what? Reality check: No Casino at Suffolk, and it will never happen in Everett. Plans for suffolk land, a mixed use development, a shopping/dining/Movie theatre destination,just think, Crate and Barrel, levis store,Apple store, Nike store, Starbucks will relocate from across the street, Loews Cinema, Border cafe, Davio's (Its Ok to have Davio's in Eastie,if people are paying nearly $3000 a month in rent, then it will be ok for them to eat at Davio's) why should Eastie/Revere/Winthrop residents drive miles to Burlington mall or outlets in Wrentham or Patriot place in Foxborough to spend thier money, should have it in thier own back yard.

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How many more Legacy Place, Market Street, Assembly Squares do we need?

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Put the Revs stadium there. The Krafts would probably pay for most of the costs and the team will thrive closer to the city.

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That would be awesome, but I think Somerville wants them too. A community college could be nice with aircraft mechanic training.

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I'm down with this. Suffolk Downs is T-accessible and easy to reach from the highways, which meets the Krafts' criteria for a new stadium location, and there's plenty of room for parking and expansion. I wonder if there'd be enough room to make a 'plex' soccer facility, with additional fields to support local, school, and travel teams? I think it'd be easier to sell the locals on something like that, especially if Kraft paid most of the bills.

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Have you experienced traffic after a revs or pats game!!! It will be a nightmare for suffolk downs, traffic needs to be in a flowing manner not standing. Do you see what developers did in fenway boston, developers managed to squeeze so much upscale housing and upscale retail in such a small area. To make East Boston become another Southie or Charlstown it will need to add upscale housing/retail/eating establishments , it will attract people with deep pockets, those people will pay $400.000 for that 2 bed condo ,North End has the upscale housing along thier waterfront ,they also have places like 45 Province st , In Charlestown you can not even buy a condo for less than $350, 000! Wealthy folks from Belmont, Marblehead, Swampscott are buying homes from Marion st to webster st, check out the real estate transactions in the East Boston times your not seeing names like Guido Finnocchio just sold to Joey Linguini its more like Harold Bernstein just bought from Enrique Rodrigues!!

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You are correct! Eastie real estate market is on fire right now, it's only a matter of time that the property values compare to Southie and Charlestown. Once the high end developments come to the waterfront, it will take off. More condos are selling at $300's in Eastie lately, which is great for the neighborhood. Eastie needs change, I'm looking forward to the change. Even along Meridian St. some of the beautiful Victorian homes are being converted into high end condos, it's a great thing!

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... having lots of time to kill, I spent a day visiting East Boston. I loved Orient Heights -- and would love living there -- but probably already more expensive than Roslindale. (I noticed very little airplane noise on the hill itself), is this normal or abnormal).

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Boston certainly needs more wastelands of overpriced condos and "chic" "urban (whatever that means now)" "eateries" and places that claim "diversity" as they simultaneously price out the people who already live there. No thanks. East Boston is fine as it is.

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Everett seemed to really want their casino; let them have it.

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