On November 5, 1757 Frederick the Great, outnumbered two to one by France and the Holy Roman Empire, defeated the larger force at the Battle of Rossbach.
Here in Eastie on November 5, 2013 a small group of concerned citizens and activists defeated the march larger and more well financed Suffolk Downs Racetrack on the casino issue.
Eastie residents voted down the ward-only casino referendum 4291 to 3345 Tuesday. What was once touted as a ‘sure thing’ among many political operatives and casino supporters quickly fell out of favor last month after Suffolk Down’s severed ties with Caesar’s Entertainment. After dropping Caesar’s it seemed all the momentum was behind the anti-casino movement and those residents on the fence broke to the anti-casino side.
Suffolk Downs attempted to move forward without a gaming partner but in the eyes of many Eastie voters it was too late and many could not, in good conscience, vote in favor of a casino in Eastie without knowing who would run the gaming operation.
While Suffolk Downs could have gone back to the drawing board and renegotiate another host community agreement if the vote was held earlier this year it seems the clock on a casino deal in Eastie has run out. The deadline for the final casino application is due December 31 and Suffolk Downs would have to have renegotiate another agreement and hold another vote in 60 days, which is now impossible.
Left on the table is $10 million to $20 million for Eastie under the host community agreement with the city.