Tuesday afternoon, the owners of Suffolk Downs finally released a development proposal to a throng of media, local officials, residents of surrounding cities and towns as well as track employees and union representatives of exactly what they are planning.
Chelsea, as a designated surrounding city, will be a beneficiary of a casino coming into existence and operation at Suffolk Downs.
Jobs will be created in the thousands for tradesmen and women and for those in the building trades. When the place is built and up and running, more than several thousand jobs and careers will come to exist at the track casino and it is not a pipe dream to think that many of those jobs will be held by Chelsea people.
In addition, the casino will have a philanthropic arm as well as an eye toward mitigating social issues arising from gambling.
The Suffolk Downs people are obligated to mitigate traffic and to redo some roadways and traffic circles and some of this work being done will be expected to lessen traffic in Chelsea, Revere, East Boston and in Winthrop, if a casino comes to exist at Suffolk Downs.
So it was no surprise to find Chelsea City Manager Jay Ash among the throng at the track Tuesday for the rollout.
He has been among the track’s most important local supporters and has publicly endorsed a casino at Suffolk Downs.
Whatever the final outcome, the appearance is given that Suffolk Downs is now the odds on favorite to be granted a casino license when all is said and done with the application process.
Gambling is not panacea but the added revenues, added jobs and added capital investment – expected to be $1 billion for a casino operation at Suffolk Downs – makes it about the biggest economic boost in this area in its modern history.
Boston ought to have a casino. It should be located at Suffolk Downs.
We hope it is. We can use the economic boost.