The piñata split open and out poured the new state gambling law. New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft teamed up with Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn to build a facility on Route 1 in Foxboro, under the shadow of Giselle Stadium. Suffolk Downs, the previous frontrunner, said, “Son of a -----!”
When Kraft jumps in the water, sharks swim away.
Jack planted magic beans and those beans grew into a casino, or so is my understanding. These beans sit protected and await competent bidders. Can you imagine having Patriots tickets and having the luxury of placing your bets down the street? It could happen! New Orleans, St. Louis, and Pittsburgh boast casinos near their stadiums. Kraft owns the land and should he choose to lease it out Wynn, avoids an ugly conflict of owning shares to a gambling facility. The Shield smothers that dastardly overlap.
Will somebody just hold the football for Suffolk Downs to kick? It had to think that once its facilities ding-a-linged with video lottery terminals that horse racing could make some sort of resurgence. I could see the Mass Cap being a million dollar race, at least I did. Boston mayor Tom Menino still likes the idea of a casino in Boston.
“We are the capital city. We generate the economy of Massachusetts,’’ he told the Boston Globe. “I’ve always said my position is [that] I’m in favor of a full casino at Suffolk Downs.’’
Just look at what the Aqueduct casino has done. In a month’s time the casino raked in $42 million with each VLT terminal banking $566, this according to a New York Daily News story. Total purses for the oft-chided Aqueduct winter/spring meets will soar by $8.6 million. The Wood Memorial will be $1 million again! Fifteen hundred horses competed in that meet a year ago and that number could jump to 1,800-2,000. And we all know that bigger fields lead to better betting races and bigger handle. Sure, betting declined 3.47% in November, but the future looks somewhat promising. Which is why Suffolk must be washing out in the paddock. Just when something looked certain, just when you thought you had a chance at the hot chick, in strides a guy who writes Tom Brady’s checks.
At least Suffolk Downs will have company at the loser’s table. Plainridge (harness) and Raynham (dog), which have tracks, the latter of which I cut my teeth at betting on the puppies when I was 18, have put in bids for slot machine parlors. These two cities are very close to Foxboro, so close, in fact, that the state will likely pass on putting gambling facilities abutting one another, assuming the Kraft-Wynn duo closes the deal.
I guess Suffolk Downs will have to look in the mirror and realize, to borrow a phrase: hanging in there just makes you look like an even bigger loser.
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