The Outcome in Foxboro

May 10, 2012
By

The casino sweepstakes has been turned upside down by the Robert Kraft/Steven Wynn decision to pull out of the competition in Foxboro.

The overwhelming rejection in Monday balloting of selectman candidates open to casino development in Foxboro sent out a message loud and clear to casino developer Wynn and his local partner, Patriots owner Kraft.

That message, rather loud and clear, is that the voters of Foxboro are not interested in a casino in their town.

So Wynn and Kraft agreed. They examined their position. They decided to take the folks of Foxboro at their word and to withdraw.

For East Boston leaders, and for Revere leaders as well, most of whom favor casino development here at Suffolk Downs, the vote in Foxboro was akin to a referendum.

The difference between attitudes in East Boston/Revere and in Foxboro are the difference between solidarity and divisiveness.

Most people favoring a casino at Suffolk Downs believe that such a development will have a largely positive impact on the local economy. There are those who oppose the casino development movement here but that opposition does not compare to the opposition in Foxboro.

Foxboro residents – it is a small town, about 16,000 in population -  were united, and Monday’s vote proved that.

When all the votes were counted in Foxboro, Suffolk Downs appeared much more likely to secure a casino license when all is said and done.

But all is not said and done even though the Wynn/Kraft team took a knock-out punch square on the chin.

Anything can happen in this bidding sweepstakes.

The Wynn/Kraft group is formidable and so there is generally no giving up with those people. Perhaps they will try another location. Perhaps not.

The voting in Foxboro may be perceived as a victory for the Suffolk Downs group but you won’t find those people celebrating. Instead, you will find them carrying on, moving forward and strategizing about how best to get the job done.

“Our focus remains working with our neighbors in East Boston and Revere to ensure our proposed development delivers jobs, road improvements and other economic benefits,” said Suffolk Downs Chief Executive Officer Chip Tuttle.

Securing a license for a casino at Suffolk Downs is just more of the same for the Suffolk Downs Group. That is, hard work, direct and unambiguous interplay with host city leaders and residents, and a plan to engage every step of the way.

The clear difference between the effort in Foxboro and the effort here is that the Suffolk Downs people know that you can’t buy the hearts and minds or Revere/Eastie residents with a heavy handed public relations effort.

They can show and have shown residents over a very long period of time who they are by doing the right thing and by keeping their eye on the prize.

They also understand, as we believe the people of East Boston and Revere understand, that a casino at Suffolk Downs is more about economic opportunity and recovery and jobs than anything else to come our way in a long, long time.

  • http://twitter.com/gmecagni Giordana Mecagni

    I would be happy to inform the Times about the numbers of people who are organizing an anti-casino movement, but all emails to the Times have been ignored.  Here is some information on Boston.com http://articles.boston.com/2012-05-10/yourtown/31657350_1_love-eastie-casino

  • Michaelbmellor

    I feel I must point out the blatant miscarriage of journalism carried out in this editorial.

    I understand that your paper is pro-casino and it is within your rights to express that view in your editorial pages, but you are also responsible for providing accurate and full information for you argument.

    This piece is essentially about your wishful thinking and your advocacy, devoid of any information that explains the views of those with whom you disagree, and basically devoid of any fact at all. That is lazy journalism at best and propaganda at worst. I expect better.

  • Fish Wrap

    “There are those who oppose the casino development movement here but that
    opposition does not compare to the opposition in Foxboro.”

    How do you know? Have you polled the neighborhood?

    When it comes to opposition, you haven’t seen anything yet. Just wait.

    (keep up the shoddy work)

  • http://twitter.com/TaniasaurusRex Taniasaurus-Rex

    “There are those who oppose the casino development movement here but that
    opposition does not compare to the opposition in Foxboro.”  How do you know this?  You have never once printed an unbiased piece on the casino opposition.  There are a multitude of people who would be more than happy to speak with you about the anti-casino movement, yet you never print their letters or acknowledge their presence in an unbiased light. 

  • http://twitter.com/TaniasaurusRex Taniasaurus-Rex

     Sorry about the double post there Fish Wrap.  Looks like we were typing and submitting at the same time.

  • Michelle Muhlanger

    I am a person of East Boston and I think the disadvantages of housing a casino in our neightborhood FAR outweigh the potential employment benefits.
    I am not the only one, so please don’t pretend to speak for the residents in a pro-casino discussion.

  • SMH

    The Foxboro vote serves to bolster opposition efforts in East Boston (which are substantial, by the way) by demonstrating that the voice of the people (Democracy, anyone?) is louder than the voices of Las Vegas, politicians in power, and a city’s biggest taxpayer.

    The people of East Boston — and of Massachusetts, really — have yet to speak because they have been silenced or ignored every step of the way. (no one asked me to vote on whether I thought casinos would be good for the state)

    Soon, folks here will know the truth about the impacts of a casino at Suffolk Downs. We will have our say, and when we do, you will see precisely how substantial the opposition really is.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Suffolk-Downs-Neighbor/100001205656374 Suffolk Downs Neighbor

    Dear “Times Staff”,  It has become abundantly clear that you have no intention of covering the casino discussion from a journalistic perspective.  It is no longer clear that you even understand the term.  
    I hope the payoff is worth it.  The Mayor’s advisor, Rev. Richard McGowan has said that the casino industry will “cannibalize” other businesses.  When the casino is the only game in town, how much advertising do you think they will buy from you?
    The local opposition has appeared on NECN, Chronicle, Emily Rooney, WCVB News.  We’re regularly sought for quotes that appear in the Globe, Herald, the Statehouse News and the AP.
    We send in letters to the editor and you don’t print them.

    I was surprised two years ago.  The scales have fallen from my eyes now.  
    John Ribeiro

  • Steve

    Along the same lines as John’s comment, did you hear what Steve Perskie, formerly of the NJ Casino Commission, said at last week’s info session for the MA commission?

    “Let me make you a promise.
    Your legislation requires that operators put up a $500m investment.
    With that kind of money, you can be sure they’re going to build an
    impressive structure with restaurants, bars, nightclubs, shops. Make no
    mistake: the delicatessen down the street is going to go out of
    business. The nightclub around the corner is going to go out of
    business. Nothing the Mass. Casino Commission can do is going to change
    that.”That’s bad news for small businesses in East Boston and Revere — your advertisers — don’t you think?Let me issue a challenge:Devote one issue — ONE — to the arguments against a casino at Suffolk Downs. Interview folks who are against it. (there are lots of us) We’ll even provide content, statistics, figures, sources, if you want. Make it a “special issue.” Even better if it’s a two-page spread with photos inside. Let me make you a promise: you’ll move a lot of papers that week.And our neighbors — your readers — deserve to hear both sides from their trusted news source. They’ve heard the pro side for years now. It’s time they hear the rest of the story.One issue. That’s it.We’ll await your response.Steve H.steve [at] thebostonwriter [dot] com

  • AES

    I have yet to hear one factual, truthful argument about how housing a casino in East Boston will benefit me as a resident. We already deal with Logan traffic, Logan air/noise pollution, Route 1A commuter traffic, two tunnels, stalled waterfront development and more. We won’t benefit from a casino but we’ll have to shoulder the burden of increased traffic, increased crime to our neighborhoods and decreases in property values?? I’m sorry, but if you think that we’re going to lie down and not fight this as hard as we possibly can- well, you’re living in a dream world.

  • Trentadvisor

    Obviously Caesars/ suffolk has a friend in the East Boston Times, maybe this “news source” should help residents who oppose the casino have a voice. A casino is a bad idea for the neighborhood, and no Caesars has not been our neighbor until 2006 when richard fiields bought the majority ownership with the goal of building a Casino. This is not the same Suffolk my Grandfather went too, this horseman rode in on a trojan horse with the intention of swaying the political winds in favor of a Casino and he succeed. Now Eastie can vote and send fields back to Wyoming without our neighbors money in his pockets. Please share the real story of how we got swindled…

  • gail Miller

    May I add that if Global Petroleum gets their way, which we’re working hard against this proposal, we will be burdened with yet another degrading proposal…the bringing in of ethanol on 60 car trains, twice a week along Chelsea Creek and the neighboring communities of Chelsea, Revere, Everett, Cambridge, Somerville and beyond…something highly flammable, a definite threat and risk to our communities….so in the words of Congressman Market many years ago…”when is enough enough?”

  • NECbaby

    Dear “Times Staff”: Please be advised that we will very shortly flyer all the small businesses that advertise in your papers, in East Boston and Revere. We will be alerting the business owners of the information you’ve neglected to tell them over the last several years. The various cautionary Letters to the Editor we’ve submitted, repeatedly, which you’ve never published. The quotes from several casino experts, on which you should have written, pertaining to how a casino in the neighborhood will severely impact (read: destroy) their small businesses.

  • Jessica Curtis

    There is a REAL opposition here in East Boston that will become more vocal as people learn the facts, not the half-truths reported here and elsewhere.  Our elected officials and business leaders should be spending their energy finding ways to “deliver jobs, road improvements and other economic benefits” that will be here for the long haul and strengthen the community as a whole, not just line the pockets of Caesar’s Palace–oops, “Suffolk Downs”–owners. The casino’s a Trojan horse for this community, promising economic prosperity at a very high cost. A casino WILL drive out small business, increase local bankruptcy and foreclosure rates, attract loan sharks and other predatory lenders, and change the fabric of East Boston for the worse. I’m sorry, but I’m not willing to gamble on East Boston’s future with those odds. 

  • Marty McFly

    Put it this way… Have you all seen the movie Back to the Future II?  Remember how nice Hill Valley was?  What happened when Biff Tannen opened up a casino there?  It went WAY DOWNHILL.  The same thing will happen to Eastie if the they build the casino at Suffolk Downs. 

    You’ll wish you had a time machine if the casino gets built, because you’ll see Eastie become the Hill Valley that Biff Tannen ruined. PLEASE VOTE AGAINST THE CASINO!

Real Time Web Analytics - Buzz Stat