05/09/2012 2:36PM

Suffolk Downs: Competing group drops out of casino license chase


Backers of a casino project near Foxboro Stadium in the Boston area have abandoned their plans, handing the lead for the sole casino license for the area to a partnership that includes Suffolk Downs in East Boston.

Casino owner Steve Wynn and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft dropped their plans for the Foxboro casino after two anti-gambling representatives were overwhelmingly elected to the town council, signaling that the township had serious objections to the idea of a casino next door to the Patriots stadium.

The partnership was the most serious competitor to a joint project backed by Suffolk Downs and Caesars Entertainment to locate a casino at the track. Caesars and Suffolk announced the partnership last year, prior to the legislature authorizing a total of three casinos and a slot parlor in the state.

Because of a detailed licensing process, casinos are not expected t open in Massachusetts for several years, and the possibility remains that other competitors will emerge for the Boston-area license.