COO: Suffolk Downs could go under without casino license - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

COO: Suffolk Downs could go under without casino license

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(MyFoxBoston.com) – A game-changing remark in the race for a casino in Massachusetts came from the COO of Suffolk Downs on Thursday.

COO Chip Tuttle told FOX 25 Suffolk Downs is in the red and has been for years. He said its future is up in the air unless it gets a casino license.

"The track hasn't been profitable on its own since about 2005 and our owners have been very generous in investing in racing through the years in hopes of earning a license to keep the track going," Tuttle said.

Under the signed host agreement, Suffolk Downs promised a $1 billion casino resort and 4,000 jobs - a deal that could be worth upwards of $50 million for Boston every year.

Now that gambling giant Caesar's is out, Suffolk Downs is seeking another partner.

Boston Mayor Tom Menino remains steadfast Suffolk Downs will get a casino license; however, if they don't get the license, he said it will be up to the privately-owned company to decide what they want to do.

"It's privately-owned, let them do what they want. They have to go through the City of Boston. They'll make that decision when the time comes, but I think that they're moving forward with their plans for a casino on that site," Mayor Menino said.

If Suffolk Downs doesn't get a casino and can't stay afloat, the land would be prime real estate for any developer.

Both Boston mayoral candidates, John Connolly and Rep. Marty Walsh, told FOX 25's Sharman Sacchetti they would defer the question to the voters of East Boston and the ballot question on Nov. 5.

"I mean I don't want to play it out certainly if it doesn't happen, we'd have to look at some type of mixed use development in that neighborhood and work with the people of East Boston," Rep. Walsh said. "There's still some ‘A' players out there involved in the business."

Connolly reiterated his point that the decision would ultimately be up to the people of East Boston.

"I want to look it all over, but ultimately as I've said from day one, the people who are gonna' be most impacted are the residents of East Boston. It's their decision to make," Connolly said.

A call was placed to Suffolk Downs asking if there was a Plan B, but FOX 25 has not yet heard back.

The vote on the East Boston casino project is set to occur Nov. 5.

The City of Everett has already approved Steve Wynn's casino proposal.

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