BOSTON Aug 27 Boston Mayor Thomas Menino
reached a proposed deal with developers on Tuesday to build a $1
billion Caesars casino in the city's East Boston section that he
said would generate at least $32 million in annual revenue for
the city and create thousands of jobs.
The pact, expected since casinos were legalized in 2011,
also includes an up-front payment of $33.4 million to East
Boston and allows the Suffolk Downs horse racetrack, where the
casino will be built, to continue to operate, the mayor said in
A referendum on the deal will be held within 60 to 90 days
in East Boston, an outlying part of the city located across
Boston Harbor past the city's airport.
"I have said from the start of this process that I wanted
three things: a first-class, resort destination casino, an
agreement that would benefit the people of East Boston, and a
proposal that will be selected by the State Gaming Commission,"
said Menino, who is in the last year of a 20-year tenure as
mayor. "We are well on our way to that and more."
Massachusetts legalized casino gambling in 2011. Lawmakers
carved the state up into three districts, and allotted one
casino license to each. Suffolk Downs, the only thoroughbred
horse racing venue in New England, has been seen as the
front-runner for the Boston-area license in a competition with
rival Wynn Resorts, which has proposed a casino outside the
city, in Everett.
About eight projects are vying for the three licenses,
though none have yet won final approval.
The racetrack would join forces with casino operator Caesars
Entertainment Corp and build a Caesars-branded resort at Suffolk
Downs that includes a casino, hotel, restaurants and retail
The deal provides for 4,000 permanent jobs, 2,500
construction jobs during the building of the facility, 2,225
jobs during an early opening period and 800 permanent jobs for a
year before the early opening.
Under the deal, Boston would receive an estimated $52
million annually, with a guaranteed minimum of $32 million per
year, Menino said.
Suffolk Downs has committed to spend $50 million annually on
goods and services in Boston and $5 million in East Boston
alone. It also would spend at least $45 million on roads,
bridges, subway station improvements, bike lanes and ferry
The project would include two gaming areas, two luxury
hotels with a total of 450 rooms, meeting and entertainment
space, restaurants, retail space and a seven-story parking