03/30/2017 2:38PM

Sale of Suffolk Downs approved

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The Massachusetts Gaming Commission on Thursday unanimously approved the sale of the East Boston property of Suffolk Downs to a real-estate development company in a transaction that is expected to allow racing and simulcasting to continue at the site through 2018.

The commission voted 4-0 to approve the sale of the 161-acre site to McClellan Highway Development Co., a division of HYM Investment Group, one of the largest real-estate developers in the Boston area. Although there are no specific plans for the development of the site, Suffolk’s current owners expect to lease the site from McClellan through the end of 2018 to hold a smattering of live racing days this year and next and to offer simulcast betting year-round, according to papers filed with the commission.

Last week, Chip Tuttle, the chief operating officer of Suffolk, said the owners of the racetrack would seek to open a permanent simulcasting site on the property when it is redeveloped. The papers filed with the commission also noted that possibility.

Suffolk is scheduled to host six live racing dates this summer over three weekends, and horsemen and the track are expected to run a meet of similar length in 2018.

Suffolk began seeking buyers for the track property in 2014 after being passed over for one of the state’s casino licenses.