Massachusetts gambling regulators voted unanimously Tuesday to allow a casino proposal at Suffolk Downs race track to go forward- but with a hitch.
An earlier proposal from Suffolk Downs to build a casino on the border of Boston and Revere was approved by Revere voters but rejected by East Boston voters. So the track regrouped and introduced a plan to build a casino just on the Revere side of the property.
The Mass Gaming Commission said okay but Revere needs to hold another citywide referendum on the new plan. Steven Crosby chairs the commission.
“In a deeply imperfect and challenging situation, I think this is about as creative and fair a solution as one could come up with.”
Casino opponent Celeste Myers said the gaming commission should not have allowed Suffolk Downs to proceed without the support of East Boston.
“They should have told these folks it’s a failed application. Go back to the drawing board. The goal of the gaming commission is to maintain the integrity of the process. They’re off on the wrong foot.”
Myers said her group is considering its legal options.
Revere mayor Dan Rizzo said the city remains excited about a Suffolk Downs Casino:
"I’m very very hopeful and confident when they do go back out and vote that they vote in the same numbers in the same way they did back on November 5.
Revere voters approved the initial plan 61 to 39 percent.
The new referendum will likely be scheduled for the middle of February.
The only other contender for the sole eastern Mass casino license is a Wynn resort proposed in Everett.