REVERE (CBS) — More than 100 people rallied Sunday in support of Revere’s bid to build a casino at Suffolk Downs.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission will decide Tuesday whether the project can move forward after two significant changes: adding Mohegan Sun as the casino operator and restructuring to avoid building in East Boston.
Approval from both Revere and East Boston voters was required for the original plan to move forward, but only Revere approved a casino referendum in November. Casino proponents are hoping Revere’s approval can be applied to the new plan, which calls for building a casino on 52 acres at Suffolk Downs exclusively in Revere.
“Revere is a city that’s been stagnant for a couple of decades, and we’ve been begging for some new development. This is a dream opportunity for this city,” local business owner Gary Ferragamo said at Sunday’s rally.
The casino issue has been contentious in Revere, with dueling protests at many rallies, but only casino supporters took to street corners Sunday.
Chip Tuttle, the chief operating officer of Suffolk Downs, says the consequences of the Gaming Commission’s decision couldn’t be higher because not expanding gambling through a casino threatens the horse racing business already on the property.
“We have a 78-year tradition of racing here and we’ve got a commitment to uphold that legacy,” Tuttle said. “If we’re successful with gaming development on the property, it makes it so much easier to do that. We are one of the only tracks on the East Coast without the benefit of expanded gaming on the property.”
Casino supporters are planning a news conference Monday at noon with officials from the city of Lynn.
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