BOSTON (AP) - Mohegan Sun said Friday that it's exploring "non-gaming projects" for its site in Palmer after failing to persuade local voters to support a $1 billion casino project.
The announcement came ahead of a planned recount next week requested by Mohegan Sun and the Yes for Palmer Committee. It also appears to signal that the company is throwing in the towel on the Palmer project after the plan was narrowly defeated.
"The Town of Palmer made a definitive statement on November 5th - that it is sharply divided on the issue of casino gaming," Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority CEO Mitchell Etess said in a written statement. "The recount will not change this fact."
Mohegan Sun also said its own analysis of the Nov. 5 results based on voter list records, voter check-in sheets from Election Day and Yes for Palmer databases has determined that the outcome of the vote is unlikely to change as a result of the recount.
"We deeply appreciate all the time and effort of our supporters in Palmer," said Kevin Brown, chairman of the Mohegan Tribal Council.
Chip Tuttle, chief operating officer of Suffolk Downs, has confirmed that Mohegan Sun is among several companies that have discussed partnering with Suffolk Downs on a revised casino proposal in Revere.
The racetrack cut ties with its previous operating partner, Caesar's Entertainment, after red flags were raised during a background check of the company.
The original plan straddled Revere and East Boston. While voters in Revere backed the proposal, East Boston voters rejected it.
Mohegan Sun has refuted suggestions by Palmer casino supporters that it had negotiated with Suffolk Downs before the Nov. 5 referendum.
"There were never any considerations of other gaming options prior to the referendum election," Brown said in the statement released Friday.
On Thursday, state gambling regulators allowed Suffolk Downs more time to pursue its proposal for a casino that would sit entirely in Revere.