City/Suffolk Signs Host Community Agreement

For several weeks the word on the street and at Boston City Hall, was that City and Suffolk Downs were getting closer to reaching a deal that would pay millions of dollars annually if a casino is built at the racetrack located in East Boston.

The rumor was substantiated last week when the two sides, following months of negotiations, effectively worked out a “host community agreement” moving the possibility of a casino at the racetrack in the right direction.

The state gaming board requires all cities and towns where a casino can be located to strike this type of agreement with developers before a gambling license is issued.

Mayor Thomas Menino was committed to get the best deal possible for the city. Apparently at least $32 million a year.

Las Vegas tycoon Steve Wynn has already committed $25 million a year to Everett from gaming proceeds if his $1.4 billion casino is built there.

It’s possible that North End businesses can benefit from a casino through what’s called the points system accrued by gambling numbers, if a casino works out an agreement with local businesses. Points can be used to purchase items in the North End.

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