Remember the Host – Neighborhood deserves new revenue streams for serving as home to a casino

June 17, 2010
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We are in favor of a casino in Suffolk Downs as part of the state’s expanded gambling venue.

As we have written many times, a casino means many new jobs, hundreds of millions in new construction and infra structure investment and new taxes for the state – and for the city of Boston.

The rub, and it is a bit of a rub, comes when the city decides how to spend the new revenues coming in from a casino at Suffolk Downs.

So we are left to wonder – will East Boston, as the host “city” be the recipient of a new stream of income or will the money simply flow into the Boston Treasurer’s office to be spent in numerous other neighborhoods of the city?

This, we believe, is a compelling question.

In neighboring Revere, a percentage of new tax money from a casino at Suffolk Downs will flow directly into that city’s treasury to be spent by that city on improvements as it sees fit.

East Boston, we believe, should be the chief beneficiary of the percentage of the take that the city of Boston will inherit.

East Boston is not so different from Revere and could use the money as a host “city” the way Revere can and will use it.

The problem is that under the law, Boston, and not its “neighborhood” known as East Boston, will likely be the recipient of the new revenue stream.

East Boston needs to know how and where the new money coming into the city treasury will be spent by the administration.

The success of the track is one thing.

How it adds to the possibilities locally is another.

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