Mohegan Sun’s second chance

REVERE, Mass. (WWLP) – Mohegan Sun gets a second chance for a Massachusetts casino license, this time at Suffolk Downs in Revere. Voters went to the polls on Tuesday to make or break Mohegan’s eastern Massachusetts casino plans.

“I hope it’s a yes”, said Revere’s Cathy Whycoff.

Revere has already passed a casino referendum once. On November 5th voters in Revere approved a casino plan, while voters in East Boston rejected the same plan. Suffolk Downs, which had originally partnered with Caesar’s, had to develop another plan. Caesar’s had dropped out of contention in Massachusetts because it believed it wouldn’t pass the state’s background check. Suffolk Downs no longer could have any of its casino plan in East Boston.

On that same day Palmer voters rejected Mohegan Sun’s plan by less than 100 votes. Mohegan Sun and Suffolk Downs announced an agreement shortly after a recount in Palmer confirmed this vote count.

“We got our message out there, at the end of the day our message didn’t resonate to the residents of Palmer, they let their voice be heard”, said Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority CEO Mitchell Etess.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission then made Revere hold another pass or fail vote for Mohegan’s project at Suffolk Downs for the project to continue to compete for the eastern Massachusetts gaming license.

Critics of Mohegan Sun say they didn’t put on their best campaign in Palmer because the money was more lucrative at Suffolk Downs.

(Is their anything that you learned from and took from the campaign in Palmer that you did differently in Revere?)

“We’ve obviously been over it in our head hundreds and hundreds of times what we did in Palmer. We don’t think we did anything wrong”, said Etess.

If the vote passes, Mohegan Sun will compete with Wynn in Everett for the eastern Massachusetts gaming license.  That license may not be awarded until the end of June.

The message we heard from many Revere voters if that they are voting for or against a casino – any casino, not for or against Mohegan Sun.

(Was this because of Mohegan Sun at all?)
“No, no it wasn’t about Mohegan, but its something that will help the city out”, said Revere’s Anthony Odierno.

(Was this about what Mohegan brought here or were you pro-casino regardless?)

“I was pretty pro-casino regardless, I just hope if it works out everything goes well”, says Revere’s William McCarthy.

The polls close Tuesday at 8pm.  We’ll have results on wwlp.com as they come in and on 22News at 11pm.

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