Suffolk Downs Casino Vote Must Go Forward

The future of the Suffolk Downs resort casino proposal remained in doubt this week, even as Secretary of State William Galvin ruled that the November 5, referendum question must be allowed to go forward and then admitted that the results – no matter what the outcome – could end up being legally challenged by the losing side because of the mention of Caesars Entertainment in the ballot question itself.

What this all means for Everett residents and those who support bringing a resort casino to Everett is anyone’s guess, but Councilor Michael McLaughlin, a prominent supporter of the Wynn Everett casino proposal, was very pleased when reached on Monday night.

“Everything is going well for our proposal right now,” said McLaughlin, who chose not to mention the competing Suffolk Downs proposal.

Over the weekend, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino’s office raised the possibility of postponing the casino vote, after Suffolk Downs dropped its casino partner, Caesars Entertainment, last Friday. Suffolk and Caesar’s reached the mutual decision to have Caesar’s withdraw from the development team because of concerns the gambling giant would fail a mandatory state background check.

Suffolk Downs officials said this week they intend to replace Caesars with another operator and move ahead in their pursuit of a casino license. However, the late change in the Suffolk Downs proposal could create an opening for the referendum results to be challenged, no matter which side wins. Asccoding to Galvin, the losing side in the vote could potentially sue to invalidate the results based on an inaccurate description, printed on the ballot, of the agreement between Suffolk Downs and the cities of Boston and Revere, since the description mentions Caesars.

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