Just weeks voters struck down a proposed casino in Palmer, Mass., Connecticut-based Mohegan Sun has announced a deal with Suffolk Downs for a $1 billion venture in the Boston suburb of Revere.
“Despite the challenging times, what has emerged from it is a tremendous partnership,” said tribal chairman Kevin Brown.
Under the new deal, the racetrack at Suffolk Downs will remain, and a new casino and hotel will be built around it. It’s a stunning turn of events, just weeks after a tough defeat in Palmer by less than 100 votes.
“We were in it to win it in Palmer, up to and through the referendum,” explained Brown.
The tribal chairman said the Revere deal came together in the last 72 hours.
“There are folks who have literally gone without sleep to pull off the merger and get the signatures,” Brown said.
The Boston Globe reports Suffolk Downs had to find a partner before the end of the year that could submit a bid suitable to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.
Initially, that partner was Caesar's Entertainment, but the agreement fell apart during the background check process. The track dropped Caesars in October over concerns that the Las Vegas gambling giant would fail the background check, the Globe reports..
The commission deemed Mohegan Sun a suitable bidder, following a lengthy background check into the tribe for the Palmer deal.
“As Caesar's fell out of Suffolk, it created the conditions for this merger,” said Brown.
And while the award date for a gaming license isn’t until April, the tribe says work will get underway quickly to get the project up and running as soon as possible.
“If you look at the legendary gaming experience that Mohegan Sun brings to the customers of New England, the patrons in Boston will see that exact same experience,” said Brown.