Voters Back Mohegan Sun

All smiles on Tuesday at the celebration party at Suffolk Downs were, from left, Chip Tuttle, COO of Suffolk Downs; Mitchell Etess, CEO of Mohegan Sun, and Mayor Dan Rizzo.

The referendum vote Tuesday featured a huge voter turnout for a cold day in February, yet nearly an identical result as last November, save an increase of 4 percentage points for the pro-casino vote.

There were 7,169 ‘yes’ votes (63.2%) cast for the casino and 4,172 ‘no’ votes (36.7%) cast against the casino. There were 11,341 votes cast for a turnout of 44 percent.

That was in contrast to last November’s Revere vote where 11,083 total votes were cast and 6,567 voted ‘yes’ (59.2%) and 4,232 voted ‘no’ (38.2 percent).

In the end, between the two votes, there was a slight gain for the ‘yes’ and, actually, a decline in the ‘no’ votes – that despite a great deal of organizing and campaigning against the casino in this go-around.

Buoying the results heavily were returns from Ward 6 – particularly precincts 1 and 2, which vote at St. Mary’s Church. Those two precincts registered 1,221 votes for the casino alone.

No other precincts in the city even reached 500 votes in the affirmative, with Beachmont’s 1-1 (Beachmont VFW) hitting 470 votes.

The top ‘no’ vote was also in Beachmont’s 1-1, where there were 308 against.

Overall, the mood was one of pandemonium all day in the city, and it erupted as the results came in and the victory became obvious.

At Suffolk Downs, in the Topsider Room, Mayor Dan Rizzo, Suffolk Downs Owner Richard Fields and Mohegan Sun  wore large smiles as they moved through a large crowd of enthusiastic supporters.

The fate of the casino now lies in the hands of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, which announced this week that it will likely make a licensing decision at the end of June.

Seth Daniel :

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