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New England News

Casino License Decision Means The End For Suffolk Downs

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The last thoroughbred horse racetrack in New England is closing, as a result of this week’s casino licensing decision in greater Boston.

The last horse race at Suffolk Downs is scheduled for September 29th and the 80-year old track will close for good in December.  About a thousand people will lose their jobs.  Suffolk Downs Chief Operating Officer Chip Tuttle said the track has not been profitable since 2006.

"Our owners have been extraordinarly generous in keeping racing going and preserving those jobs while we awaiting the outcome of this decision. It is impossible for them to continue to do that."

Suffolk Downs had partnered with Mohegan Sun on a casino project, but the Massachusetts Gaming Commission picked Wynn Resorts for the only gaming license available in eastern Massachusetts.  A statement from the commission Thursday said it would explore every available option for saving thoroughbred racing.