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Suffolk Downs Sale Is Approved

Suffolk Downs, in 2014 (Jesse Costa/WBUR)MoreCloseclosemore
Suffolk Downs, in 2014 (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission on Thursday voted unanimously to approve the pending sale of Suffolk Downs racetrack to a developer.

The move cements the eventual end of thoroughbred racing at the 161-acre track, which opened 82 years ago. Suffolk Downs, in Revere and East Boston, is the state's only thoroughbred track.

Boston-based The HYM Investment Group plans to close on the deal in late April, and the sale price will not be disclosed until then.

HYM has no plans to be in the horse racing business, although the current owners will lease the track to run six races this year and possibly in 2018.

Suffolk Downs ceased regular live racing in October 2014. The track hosted the state's only three days of live racing in 2015, hosted six total race days in 2016, and has six race days scheduled for 2017.

Suffolk Downs COO Chip Tuttle says the sale is bittersweet.

"Obviously the end of an 80-year legacy as a racing facility is near, you know sometime in the next couple of years," he said. "But these things happen and it's time to turn the page and move on."

Tuttle says Suffolk Downs has been looking at different options since the track failed to win the casino license that was instead awarded to Wynn Resorts in Everett.

Wynn is currently building its $2.4 billion casino.

With reporting by WBUR's Steve Brown and the State House News Service

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