09/18/2014 4:30PM

Suffolk CEO calls Gaming Commission statement ‘too little, too late’

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EAST BOSTON, Mass. – The Massachusetts Gaming Commission, which on Tuesday dealt a fatal blow to Suffolk Downs when it ruled favorably on Wynn Resorts application to site a $1.6 billion casino development only a stone’s throw from the stable gate, will meet later this month to address the track’s imminent closure.

But Suffolk CEO Chip Tuttle said it is too little, too late for the hundreds of employees headed to the unemployment line and for the racing and breeding industry’s 1,500 direct and indirect job holders in the state.

“This is one of those cases where the Gaming Commission’s actions speak louder than their words,” Tuttle said in a statement. “For the family of workers here, this feels like empty posturing. The commission's actions Tuesday made clear how little value they place on these jobs and these people. That message, while unfortunate, has been received loud and clear by the hundreds of decent hardworking people here now facing unemployment and uncertainty.”

The MGC’s statement read in full: “The Massachusetts Gaming Commission fully understands and is saddened by the impact discontinuance of live Thoroughbred racing at Suffolk Downs will have on the lives of the dedicated men and women who have played a role in racing at the track for many, many years. The commission and its racing division are fully committed to an extensive and sustained exploration of every available option that may preserve the long tradition of Thoroughbred racing in the commonwealth. In addition, the commission is also dedicated to assisting racing employees through workforce development and by identifying additional employment solutions. Lastly, the commission will address this important issue at its next public meeting on September 25, 2014.”