Last week, Suffolk Downs president Chip Tuttle delivered a $400,000 check made out ot the State Gaming Commission, Suffolk Down’s required fee, and a non-returnable one at that, while at the same time filing a letter of intent saying they will formally apply for a casino license.
Richard Fields, the owner of Suffolk Downs, said he was enthusiastic to cut the check and to have it delivered. For him and for everyone else employed and paid by him to create the template of what is expected to be a $1 billion development effort, this marked the true beginning they had all been anxiously waiting for.
This letter of intent, however, is not the official and completed gaming application. The Gaming Commission has yet to finalize all the requirements to be included in a final application package.
By entering its letter of intent, Suffolk Downs officials are now allowed to interact in a meaningful way with state officials about plans for traffic mitigation and other such things attendant to the creation of a casino at the Suffolk Downs location.
Prior to the letter of intent being accepted, they were not allowed to do so.
Doesn’t sound like much but in reality this is a big step forward and the ball appears to finally be rolling just a bit.
Official applications and the huge $1.5 million fee that goes with it is not expected to be created nor the money accepted for probably another year or close to it.
This we know, Mr. Fields and his investment group which includes the legendary Joe O’Donnell, are inching closer to the dream they have shepherded for about a decade.
That dream includes major job creation, major private capital investment, major new streams of income for cities and the state and mitigation packages for East Boston and Revere.
There will also be packages for Chelsea and Winthrop as so-called surrounding cities.
With the presentation of the check to the Gaming Commission last week, the possibility of a casino at Suffolk Downs seems that much more real than ever before.
We favor the development on its merits.
We hope this recent spurt of action speeds up the process.