Large Turnout Seen for Casino Vote Tuesday

An artist’s rendering of the proposed Mohegan Sun Resort developed at Suffolk Downs

An artist’s rendering of the proposed Mohegan Sun Resort developed at Suffolk Downs

By The Advocate - 

More than half of the city’s registered voters are expected to trek to the polls on Tuesday to decide the fate of the revised Suffolk Downs/Mohegan Sun casino proposal that holds the very real promise of dramatically transforming Revere into an economically thriving and prosperous community for decades into the future.

The original suffolk downs casino proposal involved the entire race track property, including a section in east boston. That plan needed the approval of both cities.

Though Revere voters overwhelmingly supported the plan by a 60% to 40% margin, east boston voted “no”, killing the proposal.

Undaunted, suffolk downs then joined forces with Mohegan Sun to propose a revised plan for a resort casino to be built exclusively on the race track’s 42 acres located in Revere.

Election commissioner Diane Colella is predicting that 53% of Revere’s electorate will turn out to cast ballots in Tuesday’s do-or-die election.

Colella says interest is unusually high on the casino issue, best demonstrated by the fact that there’s been a substantial increase in absentee balloting. There were 400 absentee ballots cast in Revere on the original plan last fall – so far this time around, there have been 630.

The polls on Tuesday will be open from 7 in the morning until 8 p.m.

If localites vote “yes” on the revised plan, Revere will be certified to vie with the city of Everett (and its Steve Wynn proposal) for the sole Greater Boston area casino license.

The state gaming commission is expected to award the license in May.

If Suffolk Downs and Mohegan were to gain that designation, the city of Revere would be the beneficiary of millions upon millions of dollars, plus plenty of jobs for local residents, as a result of the “host community” agreement the city has already signed with the casino group.

The city would receive $33-million upfront, plus $25-$30 million annually.

There would be an extra $1-million a year in funding for education …. an extra $4-million a year for public safety …. $45-million for infrastructure …. and new senior and youth centers … and how about finally getting a new Revere High School!

Financial stability would become a way of life here. Property tax relief would be a reality in Revere instead of being a dream. Water and sewer bills would decline instead of escalating.

In a word, Revere would become the most financially affordable city to live in.

In addition, there’ll be plenty of jobs, during the construction of the casino and once it’s up and running – and Revere residents will be given preference for those good-paying jobs.

Because of what’s at stake, there’s every reason to believe that local voters will flock to the polls on Tuesday.