Suffolk Downs cuts ties with Caesars on Massachusetts casino proposal

Suffolk Downs and Caesars partnershipThe partnership between casino operator Caesars Entertainment and the Suffolk Downs ownership group has fallen by the wayside.

The two companies, which were in the middle of making a bid for a casino license in Massachusetts, unexpectedly cut ties weeks ahead of a public vote on its proposal after Suffolk Downs asked the casino operator to withdraw from their joint application.

Suffolk Downs made the decision to drop Caesars after the Massachusetts Gaming Commission discussed its investigation on the company’s proposal. Caesars agreed to Suffolk Down’s request to end its partnership but left little doubt of its disdain for what it deemed as “unreasonable standards” being set by state regulators for future developers.

“The commission is attempting to set standards of suitability that are arbitrary, unreasonable and inconsistent with those that exist in every other gaming jurisdiction,” spokesman Stephen Cohen said, as quoted by The Associated Press.

It’s worth pointing out that Caesars’ isn’t the only one that has been at odds with the Massachusetts Gaming Commission’s investigative tactics on casino operators. Late last week, Wynn CEO Steve Wynn had to defend his business dealings in Macau after coming under fire from the same commission.

As far as Suffolk Downs is concerned, the developer is still pushing forward with its license application and is confident that it still has a shot at scooping up one of the three licenses that are up for grabs in the state. The Suffolk Downs proposal with Caesars, which has now been scuttled, called for a casino, two hotels, restaurants and horse racing to be built on the 163-acre site near Logan Airport.

That project was competing for the sole casino license in greater Boston with the aforementioned Wynn Resorts proposal on the Mystic River waterfront in Everett and a Foxwoods project in Milford.