Monday, December 27, 2010

Wonderland's Doors Will Finally Shut

In a move that should surprise no one, the state accepted Wonderland's request to transfer its license to simulcast dog races to Suffolk Downs. It should be noted that the group that owns Suffolk also owns Wonderland, which makes it likely that they're consolidating the operations at Suffolk Downs, so it would no longer make sense to keep Wonderland.

Given the fact that there's a major redevelopment effort being made just across the street -- both at the Wonderland T stop on the Blue Line and surrounding it -- it just makes sense for Suffolk Downs to sell the property now. Given a few years, the potential development that could be built on what's currently Wonderland, as well as what's going on across the street, Revere and the surrounding area could be poised for a real economic boon.

On the other hand, from a no-slots perspective, this cements Suffolk's position as the regional gambling powerhouse, helping their balance sheets by being able to divest in Wonderland, which helps them keep Suffolk open. I wouldn't care about any of that, save for the fact that it strengthens their ability to fight for slots. Suffolk is the #1 force behind the yearly quest for casinos and racinos in Massachusetts, so it would have been nice to see that fly finally swatted.

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