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Broadside: Revere, Mass. rolls the dice on casino- Mayor Rizzo Interview with Jim Braude

(NECN) – In Massachusetts, the battle over casinos was fought at a hearing of the state Gaming Commission.

Dan Rizzo, the Mayor of Revere, Mass., was the lead witness in favor of the Revere-only sitting of the Suffolk Downs casino.

Mayor Rizzo says he feels the city can go forward with planning a resort casino at Suffolk Downs, despite neighboring East Boston residents voting against it on Nov. 5, and clarified he thinks Revere does not need a new host agreement with Suffolk.

“Our host agreement always took into consideration the possibility of development on the Revere side of the land,” he says, adding, “as a practical matter, voters went out to vote for a casino or not for a casino. I think the fact that it moved a thousand feet down the road does not factor into their decision whether or not our voters support it.”

Mayor Rizzo admits the city could not meet the deadlines under the current guidelines if the Gaming Commission asks for a new host community agreement or decides there needs to be another vote.

Mayor Rizzo also says while there is still no operator for a resort casino at Suffolk Downs, Suffolk Downs is “active negotiations” with other potential partners.

Why is the casino so important to Revere’s future?

“I have always supported the project as did almost by a margin of two to one the voters of Revere have supported this project because it of the jobs it’s going to create, because the revenue stream it’s going to create, because of the infrastructure, the tens of millions of dollars that are going to be put into infrastructure and the local investment, I mean, just for the city of Revere alone under our current host community agreement, $7.5 million annually to local business,” he says.

Mayor Rizzo says he’s planning on speaking to Boston Mayor-elect Marty Walsh, will be meeting with him over the next few days.

Watch the Interview linked below: