The Boston Mayor Thomas Menino started talking about the benefits of a proposed resort casino in the Suffolk Downs casino as he went on to name the 5 member advisory panel that helps city planning for development of a gambling hall at the 77 year old horse racing track that has been standing for quite some time without being used. They speak of it as it is as exciting as the Boston Marathon or the first pitch of the season in Fenway Park. The appointment of the Host Community Advisory Committee was the first official step that they could take towards bringing a casino to the East Boston neighborhood. He also stated that it presented a rare and historic economic development opportunity and that the advisory panel on task is going to help to ensure that it is done right. "Our focus remains on our neighborhoods and our continued commitment to make Boston a beautiful place to live, work and raise your family," the mayor said.
Brian Leary who is a former TV news anchor and reporter that is now a partner in the law firm of McCarter and English was the one named the chairman of the panel. The committee was formed a day after the operators of Suffolk Downs asked the cities of Revere and Boston to begin host community negotiations for a casino. The track in question straddles two cities. A host agreement can specify what the developer would offer to a city to address the traffic problem, public safety and other impacts of a casino. This new casino law is going to allow up to 3 different resort style casinos, including those in eastern Massachusetts. Under this law, the firms are seeking to develop a casino they must negotiate a host community agreement and win all of the support of residents in a referendum before they can actually apply for a license in a formal setting from the state’s Gaming Commission.
The potential competitors for the Suffolk Downs’ for the eastern license include the Las Vegas casino magnate Steve Wynn. He proposed a casino on land that is owned by the New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft in Foxborough. The firm has also expressed their interest in developing a casino that is placed off the Interstate 495 in Milford. This Boston space is the most desirable. This is because it is close to Logan International Airport and the major convention centers and its status as Massachusetts’ most popular and populated city. "We're not reinventing, to use a bad pun, the roulette wheel," Leary said. "It's been done before. There are other urban centers that have successfully rolled out casinos and have extracted good deals on behalf of the city."