Suffolk Downs and Foxboro – or East Boston, Revere and Foxboro and its neighboring towns, are now in a fight to the finish to capture the hearts and minds of their residents regarding the possibility of placing a casino in those two locations.
According to the state’s expanded gambling bill, only one casino will be built in the East Boston, Revere, Foxboro regional gambling district.
So the fight is on for the Richard Fields/Joe O’Donnell group, owners of Suffolk Downs and for the Robert Kraft/Steve Wynn group, who want to place a casino across from Gillette Stadium on 200 acres owned by Kraft.
We remain adamant in our support for a casino at Suffolk Downs.
The hearts and minds of East Boston and Revere residents will not be bought with pie in the sky promises like those being made by the Kraft/Wynn group.
With promises of free day care for casino employees and the best public schools in the state, the Kraft/Wynn group, is now trying to buy the hearts and minds of Foxboro residents.
A town wide mailing received earlier this week from the group made such assertions.
Another assertion was that the casino would not be seen and the gambling aspect of the business complex would be hidden away in a far corner of it.
The advertising was slick. It was meant to persuade.
In a more potent and grander effort, the Kraft/Wynn group offered a compelling piece on Foxboro Cable television making the promise that no question from Foxboro residents would be overlooked, that each question, whatever it was, would be answered, and that in the end, the town and surrounding towns would be better off for a casino.
The rational – more jobs, better schools, prosperity versus stagnation and on and on.
East Boston and Revere residents, obviously, will do well to pay close attention to what exactly the Kraft/Wynn group is promising and to compare the promises to those made by the Suffolk Downs ownership.
More importantly, residents here should begin to discern for themselves what is possible and what is not, what is likely and what is not, what is real and of benefit and what is not.
From day one more than five years ago, the Fields/O’Donnell group has promised permanent jobs, capital investment – and more construction jobs – and additional jobs at restaurants, boutiques, stores and shopping venues of all kinds and have promised as well a first class entertainment center at Suffolk Downs which would serve the Boston region and Boston itself as one more reason to come to our area to visit with a family or businesspeople on a convention. And the promise includes continued horse racing – continuing a 75-year tradition at the track.
This aim has not changed for the Fields/O’Donnell group over time.
Local residents have come to know Fields and Suffolk President Chip Tuttle as real people who have become deeply involved in the life and times of the East Boston/Revere communities.
As the battle ensues, we reiterate our longstanding belief that a casino built at Suffolk Downs with racing and all the accoutrement will be of greater benefit to the Massachusetts economy than a giant casino/resort built across from Gillette Stadium.
In the end, this what we hope the soon to named State Gaming Commission will believe as well.
Foxboro got its boost with the stadium.
East Boston, Revere and the entire Boston area deserve to get a boost from the casino.