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Keller @ Large: Could Revere Say No To Casino?

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(WBZ-TV)

(WBZ-TV)

WBZ-TV's Jon Keller Jon Keller
Jon Keller is WBZ-TV News' Political Analyst, and his "Keller A...
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BOSTON (CBS) – Six weeks from today, Revere voters will go to the polls for the second time in four months to pass judgment on bringing a major casino to their city.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

In November, they approved the Suffolk Downs plan by a 1,200 vote margin, a tidy 61-percent of the vote. But East Boston voters killed the plan, also by a convincing margin.

That forced the Suffolk group and its new partners, Mohegan Sun, to shift to a Revere-only casino.

Just as Suffolk and Caesar’s did to East Boston residents, they are promising all sorts of goodies to Revere, up to $30 million in annual revenue and millions more for infrastructure, schools, and public safety.

So now, the campaign is on.

And while I prefer to avoid making predictions, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if the outcome is in doubt.

Keep in mind what happened in East Boston, a largely blue-collar, Catholic, immigrant community just like Revere.

They gave a long, hard look at the benefits being offered, and no wonder, they could use every cent.

But then they started hearing from their neighbors and their churches about the burdens a casino might also place on their community.

A lot of them never told pollsters what they really thought. They saved it for the privacy of the voting booth. It wasn’t some sort of knee-jerk reaction.

It was the result of careful thought, and maybe more than a little suspicion of a volatile industry that hasn’t always been a good fit with urban settings.

Could Revere say no to the casino in six weeks?

I’m no betting man anyway, but I wouldn’t bet heavily against it.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

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