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Referendum is everything for Suffolk Downs

It appears a certainty according to sources close to the mayor and Suffolk Downs officials that the long awaited Host Agreement between them will be signed and made public.
This announcement will be followed by the public release of Revere’s Host Agreement with Suffolk Downs which was signed last month.
The Host Agreements finished and agreed to will allow for the state mandated referendums to be set in both East Boston and Revere.
These referendums are looming for East Boston and Revere, and more so for Suffolk Downs, as the single most important part of the casino puzzle.
The referendums must pass by wide margins that come close to Everett’s recent successful referendum which passed by an astounding 86-14 margin with 5500 voters coming out to cast a ballot.
Without strong showings in East Boston and Revere, the Gaming Commission will be forced to take a much closer look at the socio-political realities in both those places and to begin making determinations about which cities and town really want a casino and which don’t.
Recent Boston mayoral candidate polling conducted by Suffolk University has revealed a much closer margin for those for and against in East Boston than had been imagined.
This sent shock waves throughout the Suffolk Downs planning and strategy division led by Chip Tuttle.
Suffolk officials believe once the Host Agreements are signed and made public, a wave of pent up support will follow from local residents. While the recent poll results are disappointing for Suffolk Downs, there remains no sense of impending doom or panic inside their camp. Outside of their camp, there is the belief held by many close to the casino negotiations and realities that Suffolk Downs should be petrified by Wynn’s salient rather than being derisive and dismissive about it.
With Suffolk officials there remains, in fact, the strong belief that billionaire Steve Wynn will never build a casino on the contaminated Everett site – but he sure appears to have situated himself in such a way that if his foray into Everett is a bluff, it is a bluff with Wynn holding four aces in his hand.
Revere is not considered problematic. The voting population at large is inclined to welcome the casino. Revere voters, led by Mayor Dan Rizzo, understand the importance of new taxes, more jobs, and the general uptick in the local economy that will come as a result of the casino being built at Suffolk Downs.
In East Boston, polling has revealed, a wide and convincing referendum victory considered a sure thing last year, has dissipated into a murkiness of uncertainty – and the recent polling has done little to assuage the folks at Suffolk Downs.
Suffolk Downs officials are relying on six hard years of committed community involvement in East Boston to ultimately be the final measure of victory in the referendum.
When the Host Agreements are made public probably in the week coming up, then Suffolk Downs will get down to the task of doing what must be done to win the East Boston referendum by a wide margin.
It is a bit easier said than done but there is no shortage of energy or money At Suffolk Downs – and in East Boston, there is no shortage of those favoring the casino. They just have to be persuaded to come out and to vote.

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